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efreysson
06-01-2012, 09:21 PM
I plan for one of my characters to lose a finger in a fight. She can regenerate lost body parts so it's not a permanent problem, but I want to know how it would effect her in the immediate situation.
How much bleeding results from a completely severed finger? And does a wound like that stay horribly painful for long or does it numb after a while? And how much power does one's grip lose? I haven't fully decided on a finger but I'm leaning towards the index finger.

Siri Kirpal
06-01-2012, 11:34 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I know a woman who lost the tip of her thumb. Don't know how much she bled, but she was in crazy pain for a couple of months.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

YeonAh
06-02-2012, 03:24 AM
My mom had two fingers chopped off by a guillotine-style window when she was little, she gave me a very weird look when I asked her about this!

She doesn't remember how much blood came out, only that it was really a lot. It numbed after a while for her: she had the fingers sown back on with a metal piece keeping the bone together, so that might be why it numbed for her as opposed to the response from Siri?

Even now she doesn't have a very good grip with those fingers, and in the winter those fingers are the first things to go cold and ache. It was her two smallest fingers.

Cath
06-02-2012, 03:46 AM
My dad didn't lose his finger, but he did saw most of the way through it. There was a a *lot* of blood (he actually wrapped it in his shirt on the way into hospital to stem the bleeding and put the shirt back on before he went in - they thought he was much more severely hurt than he actually was).

He said it didn't hurt too much - after all he sawed half-way through it before he even noticed - but that could be unique to him.

thebloodfiend
06-02-2012, 04:01 AM
It doesn't hurt that much at first because it takes a while for the pain to hit you. Then, when the blood rushes in, it hurts like hell and doesn't stop for weeks on end. There's a lot of blood. Not speaking from personal experience, though. It happened to a friend of a friend a while back. Saw the facebook pictures. They were gross.

Pyekett
06-02-2012, 07:28 AM
A severed finger means you have transected two arteries (one on either side of the finger). They are small arteries, but they are arteries nonetheless, which means the blood wouldn't just be seeping out. It would be pumping out under a certain amount of pressure. This further means that it won't just clot off as easily as some lacerations and would likely require direct pressure to stop the blood flow.

The blood would be slippery and sticky. Best would be to take a second and tie it off, but your character may not have the time in a fight. If it is one of the three middlemost fingers and the amputation left a stump at least up to the first knuckle, she might be able to provide decent pressure by clamping the surrounding two fingers in a pincer grip and mashing tight against it from either side.

Edit: Man, that's hard to do without the thumb. I can only get any semblance of pressure by using my thumb against one side and the neighboring finger against the other side in opposition.

the arteries involved: http://tinyurl.com/digitalarteries

efreysson
06-02-2012, 11:46 AM
Thanks for the replies.


It happened to a friend of a friend a while back. Saw the facebook pictures. They were gross.

Wow, what an . . . interesting thing to put up on facebook.



There was a a *lot* of blood (he actually wrapped it in his shirt on the way into hospital to stem the bleeding and put the shirt back on before he went in - they thought he was much more severely hurt than he actually was).




A severed finger means you have transected two arteries (one on either side of the finger). They are small arteries, but they are arteries nonetheless, which means the blood wouldn't just be seeping out. It would be pumping out under a certain amount of pressure. This further means that it won't just clot off as easily as some lacerations and would likely require direct pressure to stop the blood flow.


Does it actually bleed enough that people are in danger of fainting or even dying if they don't put pressure on the wound?

espresso5
06-02-2012, 11:32 PM
It depends on whether it is cut off, crushed off or ripped off. In a cut, it's possible the arteries may pinch closed, where with a crush or a rip, they will sustain more damage. The simple loss of blood shouldn't result in fainting. It looks like a lot more blood is lost than really is. As a simple demonstration, pour out a cup of fruit punch on the floor or table and imagine it's blood. It looks like a lot of blood, but it's only a cup. However, some people faint or feel dizzy just seeing the damage. During a fight, I would think the fighter could continue to fight for a few minutes before feeling the effects.
Losing a thumb would affect grip the most. My roomate from college is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hands, and he tells me that after the thumb, the pinky finger contributes the most to grip.

Pyekett
06-03-2012, 01:26 AM
I also don't think she would bleed enough to become medically unstable, at least not for a long while. She might well start to feel lightheaded much sooner.

TheWordsmith
06-03-2012, 02:06 AM
Initially, and for different reasons, there will be little feeling. First, there is whatever caused the amputation/loss of the digit. And, if it is a clean cut (which I suspect not in this case unless we are dealing with a sword fight or "light saber" type weapon (which, in the case of the latter would serve to cauterize the wound.)) it might not be felt as much as being ripped off Secondly, Adrenaline will take a sharp up spike which will help to mask the pain.

If your character is involved in a major fight, she might not notice the pain for an extended period while involved in the altercation unless someone points it out to her. And, as Pyekett already mentioned, in such a situation, you have transected two arteries. There will be substantial blood loss even though the arteries involved are 'minor'. The very act of the fight will cause the heart to pump faster which will, in turn, cause the body to pump blood all the faster. And the blood will flow from the injury in a nice heartbeat rhythm, spurting a little fountain with every beat of the heart. This could, ostensibly, cause some faintness in some people, though I suspect, if your character is in the heat of a battle - of any degree - she is not the type to give in easily to physical weaknesses and would, by the mere virtue of her own determination, be able to override any initial faintness. This, of course, will only work for so long before she will have to relent. (an idea here, if you need her to remain involved in the altercation for an extended period, would be to find a heat source to cauterize the vessels and arteries to staunch the blood flow. Got a fire anywhere?)

The last factor here is how fast she is able to regenerate. I would imagine the pain factor would be mitigated by the regeneration process. After all, it is the body's pain and the injury that caused it, that prompts the healing process. The more she regenerates, the less pain she would feel... sort of like breaking your leg. It hurts like bloody blazes until it's set and then it's only a little uncomfortable but, if you sprain your ankle, it's going to hurt for a few weeks because there is nothing to 'put back in place' and you must simply endure the healing process.

efreysson
06-03-2012, 03:51 AM
First, there is whatever caused the amputation/loss of the digit. And, if it is a clean cut (which I suspect not in this case unless we are dealing with a sword fight or "light saber" type weapon (which, in the case of the latter would serve to cauterize the wound.)) it might not be felt as much as being ripped off Secondly.

I plan to have her get bitten. And I recently came up with the nicely grisly idea that the finger doesn't go all the way off but hangs on by a bit of skin. And since it's lost anyway and is interfering with her grip, she has to either tear or cut it loose.



And, as Pyekett already mentioned, in such a situation, you have transected two arteries. There will be substantial blood loss even though the arteries involved are 'minor'. The very act of the fight will cause the heart to pump faster which will, in turn, cause the body to pump blood all the faster. And the blood will flow from the injury in a nice heartbeat rhythm, spurting a little fountain with every beat of the heart. This could, ostensibly, cause some faintness in some people, though I suspect, if your character is in the heat of a battle - of any degree - she is not the type to give in easily to physical weaknesses and would, by the mere virtue of her own determination, be able to override any initial faintness. This, of course, will only work for so long before she will have to relent. (an idea here, if you need her to remain involved in the altercation for an extended period, would be to find a heat source to cauterize the vessels and arteries to staunch the blood flow. Got a fire anywhere?)
The fight does drag on for a while. And she is a supernatural immortal literally born to fight, so yes she's not the squeamish type.
As for fire, I could easily place a burning torch somewhere around the battle. How long does cauterization take?



The last factor here is how fast she is able to regenerate. I would imagine the pain factor would be mitigated by the regeneration process. After all, it is the body's pain and the injury that caused it, that prompts the healing process. The more she regenerates, the less pain she would feel... sort of like breaking your leg.Well, the idea is that the immortals heal better, not faster. So regrowing a finger takes several days.

Thanks for the great info!

rainbowsandunicorns
06-08-2012, 10:32 PM
I had all 4 fingers (not thumb) stuck in a meat tenderizer (Basically 2 steel rolling pins covered in spikes that squeeze and puncture a 1 1/2 in thick piece of meat in like 1/2 in thick) when i was working in a deli/butcher shop. They did not get severed but were pretty much pulverized into a mush of bone, tissue, and blood. It bled a lot. I'm a nurse and have never seen that much blood. (Not an ER nurse so maybe that's why lol).

When something like that happens you don't really notice it right away. I asked my co worker to get me a band-aid and to help me get it of. I didn't feel the pain or get worked up until someone else started screaming and pointing out the pool of blood, like 5 minutes after it happened.

Applying pressure will help stop the bleeding, ice will constrict the blood vessels and that would help too. There is this gel stuff that soldiers carry when they are on missions that causes the bleeding to stop right away, i dont know quite how it works.

As far as pain goes, it doesn't stop for a long time. Especially if nerves are involved. It took about 30 minutes for me to get any type of pain medication and i can hardly remember it. During the initial treatment, it started to feel like i was watching it happen to someone else. It still hurt like heck but my mind kinda checked out.
If she is going to get a completely new finger then i assume it wouldn't hurt once its done growing in? the healing process will be very painful though. It will have a major impact on her depending on the fingers and which is her dominant hand. This happened to me in 2007 and i still have pain from time to time.

shaldna
06-08-2012, 11:56 PM
I plan for one of my characters to lose a finger in a fight. She can regenerate lost body parts so it's not a permanent problem, but I want to know how it would effect her in the immediate situation.
How much bleeding results from a completely severed finger? And does a wound like that stay horribly painful for long or does it numb after a while? And how much power does one's grip lose? I haven't fully decided on a finger but I'm leaning towards the index finger.

I don't know about fingers, but my uncle managed to cut three of his toes off with a lawnmower. The shock tided him over, and while the initial blood loss wasn't the most significant factor, in part because his friend had the sense to tourniquet his lower leg, there was big risk of infection, that much I do remember.

He had to have surgery to properly amputate the toes (they got pretty chewed in the mower and what was left wouldn't have healed properly)

He was on crutches for a long time, and in pain for months, not to mention the swelling, subsequent infections, learning to rebalance and walk again etc.

pandaponies
06-09-2012, 03:07 AM
I had all 4 fingers (not thumb) stuck in a meat tenderizer (Basically 2 steel rolling pins covered in spikes that squeeze and puncture a 1 1/2 in thick piece of meat in like 1/2 in thick) when i was working in a deli/butcher shop. They did not get severed but were pretty much pulverized into a mush of bone, tissue, and blood.
*horrified face* O________O


Everyone else has already given really good info. My personal experience = finger injuries bleed a HELL of a lot (look much worse than they are) and numb very quickly. I didn't lose them, but I badly injured 3 fingers on my dominant hand. When it very first happened, it hurt so badly I couldn't even cry (or breathe, really) and within about... I'm going to say 30 seconds... they numbed and didn't regain feeling for probably 20 minutes. Then they just hurt like crazy and my hand was useless for weeks, but that's not the relevant part. ;)