View Full Version : Throwing up blood after being stabbed?

Negative Zero
06-02-2013, 03:00 AM
Do you throw up blood after being stabbed in the chest? I've seen, read, and heard about that so many times, but I have no idea if it's true.

If it is true, how long would it take for you to start hacking up blood? Would it be only blood, or a mixture of bile/your dinner/blood? What would make you throw up blood, anyway? Having your lung punctured?

Drachen Jager
06-02-2013, 03:28 AM
First off, if you're coughing/puking up blood from a stab wound, you are going to die without medical intervention. I'd give you a day or two tops, most likely you'd die within hours.

If you are stabbed in the lung, you'll cough up blood. Google "sucking chest wound" for symptoms. If you're stabbed in the digestive tract you could puke up blood, but I think below the stomach it would come out the other end. Either way is really bad. Puking up blood means stomach acid spilling into your chest cavity, shitting blood means feces is getting into your stomach cavity.

From a lung injury you'd start hacking up blood within minutes in most cases. Stomach would take longer (again in most cases). What comes up with it would depend on the injury.

Negative Zero
06-02-2013, 03:55 AM
So it does happen!

Thanks! That was extremely helpful.

06-03-2013, 10:10 PM
It's worth being clear - pretty much all of the wounds Drachen Jager (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=39161) describes will kill you, and fast. Spilling the contents of your digestive system into anything other than your digestive system is a Very Bad Thing. You're looking at things like acute peritonitis, which is commonly fatal if not dealt with promptly. Stomach acid is nasty stuff, with a pH of around 4, not to mention the chunks of whatever you've eaten recently which you do not want to be bumping up against your organs. A punctured lung can collapse, or just fill with fluid (mostly blood) which basically drowns you.

If you're bleeding fast enough into a lung, it could reach your mouth within a few dozen breaths - which, after a stab wound to a lung, would not take long at all, as adrenaline speeds your pulse and breathing rate and pain makes you gasp - and would be frothy because of the air and the spongy structure of lung tissue. Stomach wounds would take longer; it depends on how fast you're bleeding but getting into hours would not surprise me, if you started puking blood at all (you might not). As for passing blood in the other direction, again it depends on how fast you're bleeding and how far up the digestive tract it is; your intestines are veeery long so it could take hours to reach the other end and if the wound is far enough up it may not be immediately recognisable as blood when it reaches the bottom (no pun intended).

Negative Zero
06-03-2013, 11:15 PM
Thanks! That was a really helpful answer. Exactly what I needed, actually.

07-16-2013, 03:12 AM
Somewhat related question, so I'll bump this...

I am working on a scene where a character stabs a man who has her pinned on the ground, trying to rape her. She gets a short sword (sword bayonet, actually) off his belt and stabs Mr. Rapist in the side, somewhere around waist level, stabbing all the way across his torso or close to it. While this would certainly be fatal, would this make him pass out right away? Both characters are fairly healthy young adults (rapist is drunk, if that matters) and she needs to dispatch him quickly, without him being able to cry out. I am thinking she will need to cut his throat just to make sure, of course that would make him bleed out in her face but hey....

07-16-2013, 04:51 AM
Well, it would certainly get his attention. But no, I don't think he'd die fast enough to not be able to yell like a banshee.

If she hits the abdominal aorta artery, he'd bleed out pretty quick. But he'd still have time to get at least one yell out. If it's waist-level she's not going to hit a lung where he can't breathe to scream, or anything like that. But maybe it would hurt so bad he'd be speechless?

07-16-2013, 04:59 AM
Cwatts -- the dynamics change a lot depending upon the different positions that a man can assume. The best way to do this is with a guy, and act it out.

Assuming the guy is between the woman's legs, the guy's hands will either be on the woman's shoulders/upper arm or her neck. Woman's options are severely limited at this point. The woman can't reach behind the man's back, and even from the side of the belt area can be difficult. If the guy has lowered his pants, the belt area is even farther away.

So the woman grabs the sword, the question becomes why doesn't the guy notice? But assuming he doesn't, then notice the limited range of stabbing motions that the woman can make. Stab wound is most likely going to be low on the torso. It will not be fatal. It will bleed like crazy.

What does the guy do? That's what's going to determine her next move. He is going to scream. He's also probably going to slug her.

Unpleasant as it may be, if she needs to do this quietly is to wait until he collapses upon finishing, then slit his throat.

It is very hard to inflict an immediately fatal wound if you're pinned down. Basically you need to go up under the arm pit, not get deflected by the ribs, and go for a heart/lung shot. Next to impossible to do.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

07-16-2013, 05:44 AM
Jim and amschilling,

Many thanks. I think the encounter will most likely not happen...there is a whole lot of other torment I'm putting this character through in this sequence and fighting back like this would just get her killed. That said, it would make sense for one of her friends to try this with disastrous results.

Realism does get in the way of having someone be "badass" but it can be even more impressive for someone just survive in an impossible situation.

07-16-2013, 05:50 AM
If your lady character stabs upward through the diaphragm into the chest cavity, that should keep him from yelling and kill him pretty fast. A bayonet will reach a lung or his heart from there easily.

07-16-2013, 09:18 AM
You can make a scene work for you however you want.

Fact is, short of something that takes out the brain in an instant, pretty much any other wound would allow someone enough time for a scream.

I've seen a lot of trauma. People don't really go down as easily as the movies would lead you to believe.

07-16-2013, 03:05 PM
You can make a scene work for you however you want.

Fact is, short of something that takes out the brain in an instant, pretty much any other wound would allow someone enough time for a scream.

I've seen a lot of trauma. People don't really go down as easily as the movies would lead you to believe.

Thanks again. The scene has evolved into more morally ambiguous confrontation when a man she thought was dead...isn't. Him crying out is no longer an issue as he's been shot in the face with his jaw broken, but (after hesitating for a few crucial seconds as he's coming to...) she's stabbing and slashing at him while he's going for his gun. Stabbing up into the lungs/heart seems like a good takedown, or she could just slice his throat.

FYI the weapon is a Chassepot bayonet which is pretty much a machete.

07-16-2013, 05:32 PM
... stabs Mr. Rapist in the side ...
Make it just under the rib cage angled up toward the head. Hits the heart or major artery and he goes out like a light, then dies. Classic Marine maneuver with his KBar.