How a Life Was Saved

The Boston Marathon bombing victim in the photo above is Jeff Bauman.

The man who saved his life is a peace activist named Carlos Arredondo.

I will make a few medical remarks so that Delight in Truth readers can understand the gravity of the situation in the photo above.  I could not publish the bottom half of the photo because it is extremely graphic, as the victim’s legs are no longer attached to his body, but it is available all over the internet.

In the absence of trained medical personnel immediately available, Carlos instinctively did the right thing in pinching what appears to be the victim’s popliteal artery.  This is a large artery that runs in the back of the knee.  It is the size of one’s pinky finger, and one’s entire blood volume may be lost in a matter of a few minutes via this vessel.

By the time 40% of one’s blood volume is lost in a trauma setting, shock ensues and mortality is very high.

As an anesthesiologist, my professional guess is that Jeff lost at least 25%-30% of his blood volume in this injury based on the pale color of his face, the severity of his injury (not shown) and the unfocused gaze in his eyes.

The fact that Carlos Arrendondo clamped the bleeding popliteal artery ensured that Jeff did not lose the additional blood which would have put him in the “greater than 40%” blood loss category.  That would have probably led to his demise or permanent organ damage.

Quick decisive action saved a life.

image credit

2 comments on “How a Life Was Saved

  1. that was an amazing story all around. Jeff Bauman displayed a courage not seen very often. Did you read how he woke up after surgery and asked for pen and paper to let authorities know he saw the bomb suspect, and then he ID’d one of the suspects from photos-

    talk about feeling a responsibility to help out, after all that had happened to him. Very inspiring man!

  2. Truly inspiring story, especially knowing that this man, Jeff, will never have his legs back and could have died or suffered long term much worse damage…

    How bad can these people be blinded by evil to do something like this?

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