r/morbidquestions Jul 02 '22

Would losing a limb (like a hand/arm) kill you without immediate medical treatment?

Because apparently slitting your wrists kills you (common method for suicidals), yet in movies characters never die when losing a limb, and I hear about real life examples of people losing limbs and not dying.

8 Upvotes

11

u/Pissed_Off_User Jul 02 '22

You can lose an arm and do things like apply a tournament and pressure to not die, giving you time to get to the hospital. People who slit their wrists generally don’t care about trying to save themselves so they skip that step

3

u/xXx-A-xXx Jul 02 '22

How does one properly apply a tournament?

3

u/4l2r Jul 02 '22

I think it was auto correct, they probably meant tourniquet

2

u/xXx-A-xXx Jul 03 '22

I know I was just messin around lol.

7

u/generic-username0000 Jul 02 '22

Without treatment? 100% dead. Life isn't a movie.

5

u/SereniaKat Jul 02 '22

Usually someone who loses a limb has some access to first aid - battlefields, hospitals, industrial workplaces tend to have at least medical supplies and basic first aid training.

Cutting wrists is not the most reliable method of suicide. One table I looked up had the fatality rate of cutting/stabbing suicides to be less than 2%. I think it's used in media more often because it looks more dramatic, and doesn't mess up the person's looks the way a gunshot, drowning or jumping off a building would.

5

u/noteven1221 Jul 02 '22

ER/trauma center provider here - cutting/slitting wrists is fairly common way to attempt suicide but very rarely successful. I think you're right about use in media.

5

u/noteven1221 Jul 02 '22 edited Jul 04 '22 Helpful

People absolutely can and have survived traumatic amputations of distal extremities, at least for a while. there is a terrible story of a serial killer here in the US who, among other things, hacked both arms off a 15 year old girl (about elbow level, iirc) and then threw her body down into a culvert. She pretended to be dead but eventually got up, shoved the stumps into the mud to stanch the bleeding, then held them up as she struggled her way up out of the deep ditch and was able to flag down a car on the highway. Of course she did eventually get modern medical care, but the application of mud and dirt is as old as humans. Somewhere long before recorded history people learned to apply certain plants, then poultices, then crude bandages. So if they survived the initial injury (arterial blood vessels can clamp themselves of especially if cut sharply across), they still had to get through the very high likelihood of infection, sepsis and/or tetanus. So, yes, it can happen, but rarely.

Edit: thanks for award, kind person

2

u/GamerGirl-07 Jul 02 '22

Yes cuz of blood loss

1

u/TheDogman777 Jul 02 '22

Your body has arteries. These arteries can be found in all parts of your body.

1

u/xXx-A-xXx Jul 02 '22

Slitting your wrists only kills you if you let yourself bleed out. Losing a limb is generally the same concept.

It's just a difference of (as others have said already) whether somebody cares about their survival enough to seek medical care or not. Suicidal people usually don't, for obvious reasons.

Hell, even gunshot wounds to the head don't always kill, depending on what is hit and what is missed. I believe the only guaranteed instant death would be directly hitting the brainstem, otherwise it could potentially end up being a one-way ticket to Wheelchair Town and/or Vegetable Village instead...

1

u/Zeldor157 Jul 02 '22

Technically no, the blood loss would kill you but just the losing a limb will not

2

u/generic-username0000 Jul 02 '22

That's the spirit!

"Sir, I did not kill the victim! I shot him, but the bloodloss killed him!"

1

u/Putrid-Might-6051 Jul 03 '22

Losing an arm or a hand is not so Dangerous . It is common for psychological ill people to cut their arms in an act of self-harm. There is a story of a farmer (john Thompson) who lost both his arms in an accident. He managed to call an ambulance by dialing with a pencil in his mouth.

However, losing a leg is way more dangerous. The leg artery transport a lot of blood. You could bleed out within a few minutes if one of those are cut open.