PDA

View Full Version : What would it feel like to have one's throat slit?


J. Z. Knuckles
06-07-2006, 10:06 AM
Please indulge me, if you would, in a morbid hypothetical: if I were the unfortunate recipient of a swift slash across the jugular inflicted by someone reasonably skilled in the task, what would I experience in my final moments? I imagine the initial cut would cause some pain but then...? I don't know much about the effects of sudden, profuse blood loss. Approximately how long would it take me to lose consciousness, and vital signs? I also find myself wondering about the more incidental effects, for example: would the injury be likely to damage certain neck muscles and so hamper me from being able to turn my head?

My next thread will be about fluffy kittens or buttercups, I promise.

don't ask
06-07-2006, 10:11 AM
I'm not even sure about the initial pain. It is fairly common for victims of knife wounds to not know they are wounded until some time later. One guy in Sydney, after being stabbed, chased his assailant and bled to death, not realising that he had been stabbed.

picunurse
06-07-2006, 10:49 AM
If your assailant were truly skilled, he/she would go for your carotid artery. Your jugular is a vein, so exsanguination would take longer. You have two carotid arteries, but four jugular veins. The veins are smaller than their companion arteries.
A severed carotid, without immediate intervention, would bring you to unconsciousness with in 1-3 minutes or less, death would follow shortly. A severed jugular would take longer, maybe as much as 6-8 minutes, maybe more.
A severed vessel bleeds slightly more slowly than a partly interupted vessel. A severed vessel will snap back into the surrounding muscle, which puts some pressure on it, slowing the flow, where an interrupted one will be held open, allowing free flow.
The other consideration is bilateral vs unilateral injury. With unilateral injury, you might be able to hold the wound closed until help arrives, because your brain wouldn't be completely deprived of oxygen, since it would still have blood supply from the uninjured side. That said, rapid blood loss of more that a liter will cause unconsciousness.
You would lose muscle control in the muscles damaged. I doubt you'd have time to look around much, though.
Also, there are other structures in the neck that might be damaged making survival impossible.
The pain you might feel would only be relevant, if you survived for more that a few minutes, your body releases endorphins during extreme stress, that delay pain.

vetbridge
06-07-2006, 10:53 AM
I sliced myself with a scalpel blade once. Bad wound, requiring many sutures to close. I inspected the wound at the time, recognizing tendons etc, but there was very little pain. I would think it would be the same for the OP's situation. Before any real appreciation of pain would occur, hypoxia would lead to decreased sensation overall.

I saw a dog recently with a severed facial artery. The wound was close to where the facial artery originates at the carotid. The owner looked like she had been playing under the sprinkler (with blood substituted for water). I examined/probed the wound initially without anesthesia and the dog did not mind. Dog survived (with surgery/etc) BTW.

I also saw a dog years ago that had a traumatic forelimb amputation when it was hit by a train. Vessels were ligated prior to any anesthesia, and the dog was pretty happy the entire time.

vetbridge
06-07-2006, 10:56 AM
If your assailant were truly skilled, he/she would go for your carotid artery.
And the trachea as well. In fact a truly skilled assailant would leave only the spine intact. Course, nowadays it's hard to find truly skilled assailants.

Q.E.D.
06-07-2006, 11:25 AM
And the trachea as well.
How would that make any difference? You can still breathe through a severed trachea. Besides, once your carotids are cut, breathing is irrelevant.

vetbridge
06-07-2006, 11:42 AM
How would that make any difference? You can still breathe through a severed trachea. Besides, once your carotids are cut, breathing is irrelevant.
It decreases structural support, making it extremely unlikely that the wound will stop bleeding as pressure drops.

The Hamster King
06-07-2006, 12:50 PM
I once spent some time with a former Special Forces soldier while I was doing research for a videogame. According to him, despite what you see in movies, throat-slitting is not a particularly useful tactic in situations requiring stealth. Even if the job is done perfectly the target typically has a minute or two of fight left -- plenty of time to make lots of noise or even injure the attacker. It's much quieter and safer to just shoot the target in the head with a silenced pistol.

I'm not sure if he was speaking from personal experience or not ... .

vetbridge
06-07-2006, 12:57 PM
plenty of time to make lots of noise
But he will not vocalize if his trachea is cut. . .

Bippy the Beardless
06-07-2006, 12:57 PM
And the trachea as well. In fact a truly skilled assailant would leave only the spine intact. Course, nowadays it's hard to find truly skilled assailants.
Assassins these days, got no style. A stiletto slipped between the second and third cervical vertebrae severing the spinal cord is far less messy and much more satisfying.

The Hamster King
06-07-2006, 01:02 PM
But he will not vocalize if his trachea is cut. . .
There are many ways to make noise that don't involve shouting: thrashing around, crashing into walls or underbrush, etc.

vetbridge
06-07-2006, 01:04 PM
That same stilleto can (with a skilled assassins) can be inserted into the foramen magnum and the target can be pithed.

vetbridge
06-07-2006, 01:05 PM
There are many ways to make noise that don't involve shouting: thrashing around, crashing into walls or underbrush, etc.
Which is why I said "vocalize". ;)

YPOD
06-07-2006, 01:11 PM
My uncle, who was a WWII Marine, said that he was told to stick the knife into a kidney. How would that work? I know it would be painful, bud deadly?

panache45
06-07-2006, 01:39 PM
And the trachea as well. In fact a truly skilled assailant would leave only the spine intact. Course, nowadays it's hard to find truly skilled assailants.
They've all been outsourced to Iraq.

picunurse
06-07-2006, 04:12 PM
My uncle, who was a WWII Marine, said that he was told to stick the knife into a kidney. How would that work? I know it would be painful, bud deadly?
It might be, if the renal artery was interrupted. It would be a very painful, and lengthy death. Severing the renal artery would cause a retro-peritoneal bleed, which might not be recognized until the victim lost his blood pressure and consciousness.

Assassins these days, got no style. A stiletto slipped between the second and third cervical vertebrae severing the spinal cord is far less messy and much more satisfying. That same stilleto can (with a skilled assassins) can be inserted into the foramen magnum and the target can be pithed. Spinal cord interuption at C1-C2 would cause the same result.

An ice pick, maybe but a stiletto would probably not be sturdy enough. Cutting through skin and cartilage isn't as easy as you might think. If you've ever disarticulated a chicken, multiply that by about 20. Not that easy. There would still be a considerable amount of blood.

Many of the "suggestions" so far are more theater than reality. IMO.

AncientHumanoid
06-07-2006, 06:00 PM
If you've ever disarticulated a chicken, multiply that by about 20. Not that easy. There would still be a considerable amount of blood.




And those little fuckers fight back, too. Blood & feathers everywhere. Next time I'll kill it first.

jnglmassiv
06-07-2006, 10:17 PM
Even if you are able to get to help without bleeding to death, a severed neck artery has another way it can kill you: air entering the vessel may get to or near the brain and cause a stroke. Medics and EMTs are advised to apply pressure above and below the wound if a severed carotid is apparent.

picunurse
06-08-2006, 03:12 AM
Even if you are able to get to help without bleeding to death, a severed neck artery has another way it can kill you: air entering the vessel may get to or near the brain and cause a stroke. Medics and EMTs are advised to apply pressure above and below the wound if a severed carotid is apparent.
Not exactly. An artery pushes blood, it doesn't suck.
The explanation for your confusion is, if one has an open line in a large vein, like the jugular, which comes off the superior vena cava, taking a deep breath will suck air into the line.
It's very unlikely that the same would happen to a damaged vessel, but not impossible, if the vessel is directly linked to the venae cavae.
No so, with an artery. Veins are basicly passive flow, arterial flow is pumped one direction by the heart. When the pump is disconnected, flow stops, then reverses, due to gravity. There isn't any negative pressure inside the head to pull air into the interrupted vessel.

Blake
06-08-2006, 03:27 AM
Having slit the throats of a few animals let me say that the idea of a person having minutes of fight left in them after the carotid is severed is sheer fantasy. At best an animals with a severed carotid has 10 seconds of CONSCIOUSNESS, and that is spent lying on the ground kicking, not struggling or fighting.


The point everyone is overlooking is that the brain has a pressure control system. The brain is an extremely delicate organ with a lot of very fine blood vessels, and if any of those vessels rupture irreparable damage is likely to occur. Not surprisingly the body has evolved a spectacularly sensitive pressure control system to stop the brain being over or under supplied with blood. The main location of that pressure control system is within the carotid sinus.

In simplified terms if the area around the carotids experiences a blood pressure change the body initiates a fainting reaction. The body collapses to bring the heart and brain to the same level. That enables it to regian control of blood pressure to the brain. When an animal has its carotid severed the blood pressure decrease causes the animal faints, not within minutes but within seconds. And that reflex is even stronger in bipedal humans than in quadripeds.

I am far from being a skilled assailant but I know that I could make reasonable fist of cutting someoneís throat (assuming I didnít faint first, which is very likely). All you would feel would be a pressure and sting like a bad shaving cut. As others have noted cuts from sharp blades just donít hurt much until well after the event. You would feel the equivalent of a couple of cups of warm water flowing rapidly down your chest, but unless you looked you wouldnít even realise it was your blood. In less than a second you would feel woozy, as if you had stood up too fast from a lying position. You would then probably feel a wave of severe nausea and then your vision would cloud and you would faint. After that you would know no more. Within 3 minutes you would be dead without ever regaining consciousness.


Someone suggested that structural support could stop the bleeding of a severed carotid. That maybe so but it would make no difference since with a severed carotid the brain has no blood supply. Itís equivalent to a massive stroke. Even if you donít bleed to death you will die from oxygen deprivation of the brain. Unless some miracle caused the two severed ends to rejoin and a neat circular clot form to actually allow re-established blood flow it doesnít really matter whether the animal is exsanguinated or not. There is no blood supply to the brain, whether the blood stays in the body is rather beside the point.

HMS Irruncible
06-08-2006, 08:18 AM
If your assailant were truly skilled, he/she would go for your carotid artery. Your jugular is a vein, so exsanguination would take longer. If we were talking about any extremity except the head, you'd be correct. But when the jugular vein is cut, much of the blood in the head is immediately dumped due to gravity. (I've seen it happen). The intracranial blood pressure almost immediately drops below what's needed to sustain consciousness. Unconsciousness and death would occur quicker (and with less blood loss) than by cutting the carotid.

If you really want to kill someone by bleeding out, the quickest way to do that is by a cut to the inside of the thigh, slashing both the femoral artery and vein in one stroke. 90 seconds to almost total exsanguination (sometimes called a butcher block injury).

Pushkin
06-08-2006, 08:28 AM
A stiletto slipped between the second and third cervical vertebrae severing the spinal cord is far less messy and much more satisfying.

That's how the Borg suggest killing a human.

Without the stiletto of course.

Kalhoun
06-08-2006, 08:50 AM
If your assailant were truly skilled, he/she would go for your carotid artery. Your jugular is a vein, so exsanguination would take longer. You have two carotid arteries, but four jugular veins. The veins are smaller than their companion arteries.
A severed carotid, without immediate intervention, would bring you to unconsciousness with in 1-3 minutes or less, death would follow shortly. A severed jugular would take longer, maybe as much as 6-8 minutes, maybe more.
A severed vessel bleeds slightly more slowly than a partly interupted vessel. A severed vessel will snap back into the surrounding muscle, which puts some pressure on it, slowing the flow, where an interrupted one will be held open, allowing free flow.
The other consideration is bilateral vs unilateral injury. With unilateral injury, you might be able to hold the wound closed until help arrives, because your brain wouldn't be completely deprived of oxygen, since it would still have blood supply from the uninjured side. That said, rapid blood loss of more that a liter will cause unconsciousness.
You would lose muscle control in the muscles damaged. I doubt you'd have time to look around much, though.
Also, there are other structures in the neck that might be damaged making survival impossible.
The pain you might feel would only be relevant, if you survived for more that a few minutes, your body releases endorphins during extreme stress, that delay pain.
Thanks, O.J. ;)

Cluricaun
06-08-2006, 09:57 AM
And those little fuckers fight back, too. Blood & feathers everywhere. Next time I'll kill it first.

Thank you. I needed that laugh.

jnglmassiv
06-09-2006, 06:44 PM
Not exactly. An artery pushes blood, it doesn't suck.
No suction needed. Grab a garden hose, tie it to the top of a tree and cut it in the middle. While the bottom half spouts all over, the top half drains and fills with air. If you manage to splice it, the air will still be in the system.

CynicalGabe
06-09-2006, 08:04 PM
How would it feel?

I imagine the blade would draw out like time...

tiny ham
06-09-2006, 08:08 PM
Can we all....hug or something...now?

J. Z. Knuckles
06-09-2006, 09:33 PM
Can we all....hug or something...now?
You know, I'm not so sure it's wise to allow myself within arm's reach of these people.

Thanks for the info, chaps! Most enlightening.

air62399
02-06-2015, 12:02 AM
My two cent's worth.
It can take a long long time.
Fifteen years ago or so, when the internet was in it's infancy for everyone, I recall stumbling upon a clip someone had uploaded to a music sharing site which shocked me and remains with me, despite the intervening years and seeing the horrific but more widely known mexican / central american cartel or fundamentalist beheadings etc.
In said clip, a few afghans who have a captured russian conscript pinned to the rocky ground with a number of men holding him down, show one of the group press a knife through the russian solider's throat, (through or more likely just behind the windpipe), and in a sawing motion cut forward out until the blade cuts through all the tissue.
When the knife emerged clear, there was profuse bleeding, with a lot spilling out on the ground, but a lot, by the sound of it, clearly running down into the victim's lungs.
It was so shocking, because it was done so matter of fact and with complete absence of empathy. The abiding impression was that they simply didn't see him as human, and this was reflected in the whole scene.
Visually pretty shocking / scarring and I will never completely forget having seen the sight of the poor victim with a mujahadin foot on his head, pinning it in position for this treatment.
From what I could make out, it was, a bit like more recent similar executions in the region, clearly not simply done with despatching the enemy, but rather as a device intended to terrify the russian army at the time, with the aim of pushing them out.
Two points stand out for me remembering that clip, 1) The sadism and inhumanity of the people carrying out the murder, and 2) These guys, the elders of the taliban etc of today, were backed, trained and had embedded within them a constant stream of operatives from western special forces, fighting who were seen to be the enemy at the time, the russians/soviets.
Which begs the question, wtf was the impression this and other heinous barbaric methods the afghan insurgents used, in the minds of the u.s. and u.k. soldiers, at that time, fighting alongside the afghans?

Toxylon
02-06-2015, 05:44 AM
Having slit the throats of a few animals let me say that the idea of a person having minutes of fight left in them after the carotid is severed is sheer fantasy. At best an animals with a severed carotid has 10 seconds of CONSCIOUSNESS, and that is spent lying on the ground kicking, not struggling or fighting.


No doubt a severed carotid will result in quick death, but the fantasy seems to be in the idea of getting there while slitting the throat of an unwilling human being. There is plenty of material out there to assess how cutting a human throat goes down in real life. "A minute or two of fight left" matches many cases much more accurately than "10 seconds of unconscious kicking in the ground", even when the neck is penetrated and then sawed through with a big-ass knife. Adrenaline does wonders, it seems.

Your Great Darsh Face
02-06-2015, 06:33 AM
That same stilleto can (with a skilled assassins) can be inserted into the foramen magnum and the target can be pithed.

Well, I'd be extwemely annoyed and no mithtake.


(I know it's an eight-year-old post, but just look at that set-up)

Fuzzy_wuzzy
02-06-2015, 08:22 AM
No doubt a severed carotid will result in quick death, but the fantasy seems to be in the idea of getting there while slitting the throat of an unwilling human being. There is plenty of material out there to assess how cutting a human throat goes down in real life. "A minute or two of fight left" matches many cases much more accurately than "10 seconds of unconscious kicking in the ground", even when the neck is penetrated and then sawed through with a big-ass knife. Adrenaline does wonders, it seems.

Risking going O/T but there have also been studies which suggest a decapitated head has seconds of consciousness in it. An example from a book on Anne Boleyn particularly struck me. The face of decapitated victim in a car crash briefly showed signs of shock, sadness then grief before losing consciousness.

johnpost
02-06-2015, 11:25 AM
zombie or no

that days newspaper was placed in the guillotine basket as a last courtesy.

billfish678
02-06-2015, 11:50 AM
Hard to say.

rsa
02-06-2015, 09:18 PM
Risking going O/T but there have also been studies which suggest a decapitated head has seconds of consciousness in it. An example from a book on Anne Boleyn particularly struck me. The face of decapitated victim in a car crash briefly showed signs of shock, sadness then grief before losing consciousness.
The Master speaks. (https://academicpursuits.us/columns/read/200/do-decapitated-heads-briefly-remain-conscious)

Melbourne
02-07-2015, 05:12 AM
A grunt was all reply he got; he shaved the bushman's chin,
Then made the water boiling hot and dipped the razor in.
He raised his hand, his brow grew black, he paused awhile to gloat,
Then slashed the red-hot razor-back across his victim's throat;
Upon the newly shaven skin it made a livid mark --
No doubt it fairly took him in -- the man from Ironbark.

He fetched a wild up-country yell might wake the dead to hear,
And though his throat, he knew full well, was cut from ear to ear,
He struggled gamely to his feet, and faced the murd'rous foe:
`You've done for me! you dog, I'm beat! one hit before I go!
I only wish I had a knife, you blessed murdering shark!
But you'll remember all your life, the man from Ironbark.'

The Man from Ironbark (Banjo Paterson) (http://wallisandmatilda.com.au/man-from-ironbark.shtml)

LouisB
02-07-2015, 07:30 PM
Just last week I had a squamous cell skin cancer removed from the right side of my neck---that is, the cancer was located on the right hand side of my neck; it wasn't removed from the wrong side.

The surgeon told me he would have to be extremely careful to avoid cutting my jugular vein; I asked him to please avoid that. Then he told me that if the cancer had spread below the surface of the skin he would have to be extremely careful to avoid cutting the carotid artery. Before I could say anything he added that he had once done that very thing. After a pause for effect, he added that it had been a slip of the knife while he was dissecting a cadaver.

While my experience of having my throat cut is limited I can say that the needle used to numb the area was the most uncomfortable part of the process.

Senegoid
02-07-2015, 08:00 PM
The Master speaks. (https://academicpursuits.us/columns/read/200/do-decapitated-heads-briefly-remain-conscious)

The Master speaks some more. (https://academicpursuits.us/columns/read/1172/does-the-head-remain-briefly-conscious-after-decapitation) This is the column with the story about the head with the expressions of shock, confusion, terror, and grief.

rsa
02-07-2015, 11:14 PM
The Master speaks some more. (https://academicpursuits.us/columns/read/1172/does-the-head-remain-briefly-conscious-after-decapitation) This is the column with the story about the head with the expressions of shock, confusion, terror, and grief.
Thanks, that's the one I intended.

Best Topics: freshwater fish sushi size 38g bra 802.3af voltage spi games michael jeter gay congratulations in russian bells on bobtail www giftnetonline emile leray general halsey cucumber taste over modulated the very reverend lowes scrap wood grand poobah mason vermicelli darwin procul harun shows like whodunnit eggnog bourbon ratio deontological vs utilitarian cliche alternatives casino vs goodfellas best sword steel eyelids cut off xtend optionsxpress dones back pills nonprofit org stamps contractor fees eli lasch bi curious men install wood paneling over drywall going away gifts for military female singers with deep voices i hate air conditioning as useful as sayings how to make 80s music dangerous things to do at home are blueprints public record film location rental rates how many holes women have cat food similar to hills cd lowes carpet removal cost we are the lollipop kids melt snow with propane torch nose gets clogged when i lay down is radon testing necessary when buying a home taking zyrtec and claritin together how much does a yard of concrete weight wet what time does mail come on wednesday pj drink stands for how to find original floor plans of my house what is a professional student beautiful dark skin celebrities under armour coldgear vs infrared catchy landscaping company names toothpaste causing dry mouth 2 player role playing games for xbox 360 how to sell a fur coat best way can you drill through a magnet toilet swirls but doesn't flush fried green tomatoes is ninny idgie