Do people really die from seeing dead bodies, or even just blood?!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by shenfrey, May 1, 2015.

  1. shenfrey macrumors 68000

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    #1
    Was speaking to my girlfriend today and she said she feels faint whenever she sees blood and that people can go into shock and die if they see something gruesome.

    I have heard of fainting but DEATH?! Clue me in here guys, is that possible? If so human life is TRULY fragile.
     
  2. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #2
    I guess shock or fear can cause death. Especially if you already have current problems like high blood pressure or heart issues.
     
  3. Scepticalscribe, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #3
    I also suspect that it may be a reaction to our some of what has been happening in our (comfortable western) world.

    We have a weird disconnect where fictitious life is ever more violent (and yet safely distant) while real life is increasingly atomised and remote - and in some case, comfortable - from what can happen to others.

    Different social classes live apart, their lives and life experiences rarely intersecting in a way that would not have been possible a century ago.

    Kids grow up seeing thousands of - if not more - people killed in movies, video games, or in TV dramas, yet rarely get to see a corpse in 'real life' as it is considered necessary to protect them from viewing something which is so distressing.

    I honestly doubt that someone would have collapsed from the sight of blood a century ago, even though there have always been individuals who found it an upsetting and unsettling sight; blood - from accidents, and blunders and everyday mishaps - was just too common a sight and experience.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    I'll add to my previous post the observation that I have long been somewhat puzzled when adult women, who presumably are menstruating, or experience the menstrual cycle, and thus, for whom sanguinary discharges are not an unknown experience, express such a fear of, and revulsion to, the very sight of blood.

    While there are individuals for whom the sight of blood is very distressing, I also do find myself asking about subconscious internalised values which served to reinforce the attitudes of the dominant society. I suppose that some women may have internalised these values which found everything to do with menstruation unmentionable, and somehow distasteful.

    However, I have long found it fascinating that the gender which has the most intimate relationship with blood (as both birth, and menstruation are bloody, and messy, and viscerally physical experiences) is supposed to express distaste and shuddering revulsion at the very thought - or sight - of blood.

    Moreover, I have noticed that there is a type of man who tends to be rather attracted to the sort of apparently über-feminine woman who claims to be distressed by the sight of blood; expressing such a concern can serve, therefore, to reinforce the expression of respective gender roles in a relationship.
     
  5. firedept macrumors 603

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    #5
    Your girlfriend is correct to a certain point. Can it happen (it's possible). Does it happen (never seen it in my many years (10) as EMT).

    Fainting is caused by a sudden drop in your heart rate or blood pressure. When we are anxious, our heart rate and blood pressure actually go up. This is why it is so rare to faint when you are feeling anxious. However, some people with a fear of blood or needles experience an initial increase and then a sudden drop in their blood pressure, which can result in fainting. This drop in blood pressure is called the vasovagal response, and only a small minority of people (about 15%) have this response at the sight of blood or needles.

    In all my years of working as an EMT, I have never seen or heard of anyone dying from the sight of blood. Passing out, I have seen many times. That's not to say it could not happen. Example: Person faints and falls wrong causing head trauma or person has a preexisting heart condition. I could only assume it would be extremely rare.
     
  6. a.guillermo macrumors regular

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    #6
    I've personally never heard of this being an issue. I've heard of women over-reacting, though.

    I think that happens daily.
     
  7. Meister Suspended

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    #7
    Under the right circumstances anything could cause death.
     
  8. Scepticalscribe, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

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    #8
    You have heard of women 'over-reacting'? And, you think this 'happens daily'? Really? Enlighten me, please. I am, as they say, agog, nay - riveted, my attention something suspiciously close to that described by the graphic expression 'all ears'….
     
  9. FieldingMellish Suspended

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    #9
    I'd be surprised that fainting from blood remains an issue, given the preponderance of gory vampire flicks that many young grew up watching. And there is the young fascination over the violent fights to the death in The Hunger Games.
     
  10. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

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    #10
    A lot of good points here... fiction has been pushing the boundaries of the grotesque, and is constantly challenging itself to top the goriness or shock value of what's been done before. People are used to seeing corpses and graphic displays of violence or blood, much more so than they would have in the past.

    Frankly I believe death in real life affects me to a lesser extent since for lack of a better term I'm used to it occurring in fiction.

    If the majority of people in today's generation were to witness a violent scene in person, it would undoubtedly be unnerving and disturbing but would likely have a fraction of the impact it would have had had they not witnessed worse in fiction on a very regular basis.
     
  11. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

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    #11
    How much and what kind of violence and death have you experienced?
     
  12. Dagless macrumors Core

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    #12
    A friend at school once fainted when he was told about a stuntman who died on camera. He didn't faint seeing blood, but hearing about real people dying would cause him to feel dizzy and occasionally pass out.
     
  13. AngerDanger macrumors 68030

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    I tried to up vote this comment ironically, but I found it to be rather difficult.
     
  14. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

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    #14
    In real life, just normal deaths in the family.
     
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

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    #15
    Many years ago, I spent a summer working as a hospital porter. A good friend got me the job.
    On my first day I was assigned to work with one of the experienced guys. Our first call was to pick up a dead person. I was pretty sure my friend had arranged this as a little first day initiation.
    So the guy was wrapped in a sheet. I was convinced it was my friend (similar build). So we put him in the trolly and pushed him to the morgue. All the time I was waiting for him to sit up or grab my arm. Of course he never did.
    Even when we got to the fridges I was expecting it to be a hoax.
    It was quite shocking afterwards to realise I'd just moved a dead person. I never did really get used to it, but I never fainted or died from seeing people who had died.
     
  16. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

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    #16
    Ahh, okay. I had thought maybe something a bit different. You're lucky!
     
  17. Scepticalscribe, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    Scepticalscribe Contributor

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    #17
    Does 'just normal deaths' mean that you witnessed them dying, or saw them laid out after they had died? There is a difference.



    One of the things that struck me while posting earlier was just this very disconnect.

    But I actually disagree with you to the extent I think for some youngsters that 'real' death, especially if it is of someone they know, or have been close to, can be incredibly shocking, precisely because it is so permanent and irreversible in the way that no computer game ever is.

    On the surface, they may be disconnected, or disassociated from, the idea of death, and feel that it is something that they don't need to take seriously. Marry that to the fact that the over-protected youngsters may never have seen a corpse in their real lives until someone very close to them finally dies.

    That means that their first sight of someone who is dead can a truly shocking sight. It is because - firstly - the deceased may well have been someone who was very close to them, rather, than, say, a distant relative which is a far easier way of being introduced to the factual finality of death. And, secondly, it can be shocking, because the deceased don't look as though they are sleeping, (although popular fiction would have you believe this), unless they have been on the receiving end of a truly spectacular demonstration of the mortician's art, craft and skill. Rather, they look nothing so much as utterly extinguished, indeed, almost as though they had never lived.

    Being with someone as they die is different, as is witnessing violent death, or murder.

    Now, while I do think that an argument can be made about the de-sensitising - and distancing - effects of explicitly violent computer games, I also suspect that some of those effects can be countered - to a certain extent - by the brutal and irrefutable reality of the death of someone close to you.



    ----------

    I feel your pain.

    Patronising nonsense, and like most sexist stuff, managing to miss the point completely.
     
  18. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Now just imagine what could happen under the wrong circumstances. Death is nothing compared to that ;-)

    -t
     
  19. richwoodrocket macrumors 68020

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    #19
    I don't see how anybody could die from seeing blood...
    I don't see why anybody would faint either. Everybody has blood. It shouldn't be a shock that other people have blood.
     
  20. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

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    #20
    Unless it was green or something, then you might faint! :D
     
  21. Roller macrumors 68020

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    #21
    I'd get out my autograph book to get the signature of the Vulcan bleeding green. :)
     
  22. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

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    Vulcan? You obviously didn't watch V!
     
  23. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #23
    I think witnessing a horrific scene is highly unlikely to cause permeant physical injury, and almost certainly never actual death. I think for a purely psychological stimulus to kill someone, they would need to have an underlying physical condition so severe that it would have made their long-term survival doubtful in any case. If the sight for blood didn't kill them today, they'd have dropped dead next week regardless.

    However, I do think that there is little doubt that being a witness to scenes of death and other physical carnage came do immense psychological damage. There is extensive documentation of the condition we know call post-traumatic stress disorder; where individuals who physically may be unscathed - if left untreated never the less suffer a lifetime of psyschological symptoms.

    Seeing something horrible almost certainly won't kill you. It may very well scar you emotionally for life.
     
  24. MICHAELSD macrumors 68040

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    #24
    I've seen plenty of disturbing scenes on TV though. :eek:
     
  25. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

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    #25
    Yeah, not the same.
     

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