Created By: kobie173 on July 19, 2009
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Blood Loss Issue

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Needs a Better Title, Needs a Better Description.

The human body contains about 8-9 pints of blood. When donating blood, you drop 1 pint--even that much makes you tired and kind of weak for a while, and you must wait 56 days before doing it again. Blood does not regenerate all that fast; that's why he have transfusions.

But who wants to deal with all that when you're writing action?

Blood loss doesn't affect fictional characters so much. They can get into a battle with several wounds, but only the flesh damage is shown to be a problem. See various MMORPGS, in which you can fight for a long time without worrying about collapsing if you have enough Hit Points.

  • Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) in Reservoir Dogs pretty much epitomizes this.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • July 18, 2009
    Wulf
    Related- The writers of 6Teen Did Not Do The Research in one episode. A character somehow managed to donate 16 pints of blood...
  • July 18, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Though everyone in Saint Seiya bleeds a lot, Shiriu is notable for regularly geysering more blood than everyone else in his team has at least once per arc.
  • July 18, 2009
    Hathathat
    This would be true in Dungeons and Dragons, if HP wasn't an abstraction: It means morale, luck, Plot Armor, and physical health all at the same time, but you really only take physical damage around the last fourth of health.
  • July 18, 2009
    Wulf
    Also related to High Pressure Blood.
  • July 18, 2009
    Nimbostratus
    Diablo II: When hit with a weapon causing the "open wounds" status effect, the target bleeds uncontrollably, leaving quite a large trail wherever they go. Of course, nothing actually affects their ability to fight until the Critical Existence Failure happens.

    Doom, played with source ports with decals enabled: Every hit on an enemy near a wall will leave a blood splat on it. The shotgun is essentially several hits with one blast. Since some monsters have incredibly high Hit Points, you can basically paint the town(/dungeon/techbase/Hell) red when fighting one with the shotgun.
  • July 18, 2009
    dotchan
  • July 18, 2009
    Kazyan1
    dotchan, that's more of a supertrope of this. Made Of Iron is about characters who are unreasonably tough; the Blood Loss Issue refers to how characters aren't affected by the amount of blood in their body.

    Another example: in Portal, Chell can take tons of turret shots, and leaves large blood smears on walls when hit. 5 seconds, and you're okay again, ready to lose another three pints.
  • July 18, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    If you lose 1 litre of blood, you'll be fine (eventually). but if you lose 2 litres, the feedback loops of blood pressure and pulse rate mean you got about 2 hours before the lights go out without saline or a transfusion.
  • July 19, 2009
    01d55
    Obvious name: Bottomless Blood Supply Possibly a Subtrope of: Only A Flesh Wound
  • July 19, 2009
    Ronka87
    Subverted (or Double Subverted) is the first TPB of Fables: Rose Red's apartment is found literally covered in her blood. Some Fables suggest she did it herself, using a bit of her own blood to fake her death to get out of town and start a new life. Bigby the sheriff performs an experiment to see how much blood would be necessary to cover the room, and discovers it's over the amount of blood needed in humans to survive. In other words, she's dead. The subversion is that she really did fake her death, with the help of her boyfriend: they took out a liter of blood at a time for a few months, stored it in the freezer, and when they had enough, used it to give the impression she'd been murdered.
  • July 19, 2009
    Earnest
  • July 19, 2009
    Michael
    There is no set limit for how much blood you can lose and how long you'll survive if you do. Blood banks take a pint because then you *will* survive. People have survived losing ridiculous amounts but don't try it at home.

    Still, take to extreme in the last episode of Excel Saga wherein the world is flooded with Hatchan's blood.
  • July 19, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In the manhwa Priest, Ivan Isaacs loses absurd amounts of blood during battle. He may be undead, but he's still losing more blood (in liquid volume) than his body could ever conceivably carry.
  • July 19, 2009
    Aruelle
    I agree with Earnest, overdrawn at the blood bank is a better title. Especially seeing as the issue here is that it's not actually an issue...
  • July 19, 2009
    Fanra
    Real Life: According to what I have heard from experts, knife and sword fights between experts comes down to an endurance fight. A "quick kill" where you stab the other guy in the guts is something you aren't likely to get. So you try to cut him, anywhere, the hand, face, arm, leg and then "bleed him out". As he loses blood, he gets tired, and then you can finish him off. Note, that is only true among experts.

    Of course, there are many instances of Real Life people being badly or deadly wounded and continuing to fight for a while. Blood donation is a half liter and you can give that and feel just fine afterwords. You could, if healthy, go play sports and be just fine. Of course, they don't recommend that, as some people do feel it more. Depending on the person, I would guess that after losing over a liter you would have some real problems.

    In Robert A Heinlein's novel Glory Road, Oscar is fighting an expert swordsman and he manages to wound him in the arm. However, he is himself wounded. Still, he hopes the arm wound will make a slippery grip on his enemy's sword. However, the final outcome happens when this enemy slips on the blood on the floor and Oscar manages to get the belly stab.
  • July 20, 2009
    Earnest
    Troper Tales: No one believes me when I say I've lost 7 liters of blood, more than my calculated maximum blood volume, and lived... after donating it in blood drives over the course of six years in some 14 separate donations. All spaced more than four months apart at least, of course! Safety first.
  • July 20, 2009
    Meems
    Overdrawn At The Blood Bank is a great title.
  • July 20, 2009
    patsy
    Used with excessive glle in the anarchic world of One Piece: The sword-fighter Zoro regularly loses several pints of blood every time he has a major battle. I believe the record, according to Word Of God, is six(!) or about two thirds of his total...
  • July 20, 2009
    BlackMageJ
    Gears have apparently been genetically modified to contain gallons of blood. If they only had 9 pints, they'd be running on empty about thirty seconds after first contact with the enemy.
  • July 20, 2009
    Kazyan1
    Overdrawn At The Blood Bank sounds like the consensus.

    I could launch this right now, but does anyone have an image we could use? If not, launch time.
  • July 20, 2009
    Saintheart
    Perhaps if there's an image of Mr. Orange which is relatively safe for this site?

    Incidentally, the Black Knight sequence from Monty Python And The Holy Grail qualifies for this trope, even if it does more fit under Only A Flesh Wound.
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