Tale from “The Pit”

Paramedics brought in a seventeen-year-old youth with a serious self-inflicted laceration to his left forearm. His knife had nicked an artery, not sliced through it. The ends of a severed artery contract and spasm down, reducing blood loss. A nicked artery continues to pump blood through the hole. Our teenaged patient had lost so much blood that he arrived in hemorrhagic shock, despite the paramedics giving him IV fluids and compressing the nicked artery before transport. We stopped the bleeding, …

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