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What happens if the three biggest arteries in the leg are unexpectedly severed? Usually, the blood loss is so quick and severe that it can lead to death. That’s exactly what happened to transit officer Richard Donohue when a bullet tore through his thigh in the Watertown shootout between police and the Marathon Bombing suspects. But Richard Donohue is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to lessons from combat hospitals in tourniquet application and blood transfusion.
Joseph Blansfield, trauma program manager at Boston Medical Center and former chief nurse at a combat hospital in Iraq.
Carey Goldberg, co-host of WBUR’s CommonHealth blog.
WBUR, “When they say someone has lost all their blood, it doesn’t mean you lost all your blood at the scene. You got injured, you lost a lot of blood, they got you to the hospital and they began replacing your blood, but you continued to bleed. So you’ve lost five liters of blood, that’s your total blood volume, but you didn’t lose five liters on the sidewalk — you would have died.”