Brassy Hag (miggy) wrote in little_details,
Brassy Hag

Drawing Blood from the Heart

For humans, all I've been able to find is information on administering drugs directly to the heart (whether as a killing strike of poison or, well, in Pulp Fiction). I found information on drawing blood from lab animals' hearts, but it was used as a technique for 1) obtaining very large amounts of blood and 2) killing the animals.

In this story, plot reasons require taking blood directly from the heart of a living, fully aware human with a normal constitution for a healthy twenty-something. (Modern fantasy, pressing spell requirements, blah blah.) The target is doing everything willingly, and so would cooperate with any instructions. The other people are not trained in medicine but would have access to the very best of medical equipment and supplies for the year 2004. The lab is empty, no trained personnel are available. Not much blood is needed; perhaps half a coffee mug's worth.

My questions:

1) Was Pulp Fiction correct in needing to plunge the syringe through bone, or would the needle find the heart between two ribs? (If it's the former, I'll have one of the characters be a Tarantino fan and know the medical specifics — as they were — from that.)
2) If the person using the needle was very careful to plunge the needle straight down, and then pull it straight up, how much time would they have to get the target to a hospital to address blood seeping into the chest cavity? (Given the large gauge needle I saw when I had blood drawn, I'm imagining some damage would be done no matter how careful they were.) I can have multiple people hold the target in place when the strike comes so pain doesn't lead to jerking around when the syringe hits.
3) If the answer for #2 gives me too much time to play with, drama-wise... ;) If the target manages to jerk around regardless of being held in place and begins to lose more blood into the chest cavity, what would be the timeframe for a darkened chest, falling pulse, deadline for reaching an ER, etc.?
4) And what would the doctors do when they got there? (Rough descriptions are fine; I won't follow the action into an OR.) Mainly, I'm wondering how nasty the patient's chest would look after having been treated for a puncture wound to the heart and how long it'd be before the friends can come to visit.

Thank you!

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