Renaissance Woman (hamadryad11) wrote in little_details,
Renaissance Woman
hamadryad11
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Question about fatal stab wounds

Cut for possible squickiness and length of post:


Hi, I’ve been doing some research on stab wounds to the chest and have found some great material, but there are a few critical pieces of information I’m still missing. I’m wondering if anybody here has enough of a background in medicine (or perhaps combat training) to clear up a few questions for me.

For some background information: the character (a male in his mid to late twenties) is stabbed in the back. It is a single stab wound, made with a very sharp single-edged blade maybe 8 to 10 inches (20-25 cm) long. I’ve discovered that even with a wound to the heart, a stabbing victim could remain alert and active for quite a while. What I need to know is how quickly he could potentially die.

I read that an air embolism is rare, but if it occurs would cause very rapid death. What I couldn’t find out is if an air embolism would occur immediately after the stabbing, or if it would likely occur later. When it says “very rapid death” am I looking at a period of a few seconds or a few minutes?

How long would it likely take a person to die of a haemorrhage if the right ventricle is perforated, or if the coronary artery is severed?

Even if death doesn’t occur immediately, how long would it take a person to become incapacitated (unable to counter-attack) if there is rapid haemorrhaging from the kind of would I just described?

Any help with this question would be appreciated.
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