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Author Topic: Suicide by Slitting Wrists
vball girl12
The Red and the Green Stamps


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While discussing methods of suicide with friends the other day (no we're not morbid, it just came up), one of my friends mentioned that if you attempt suicide by slitting your wrists horizontally, you can be "saved", as these wounds can be sewn up. However, if you slit your wrists vertically, there is no hope of you surviving, as these wounds are physically impossible to sew up. This strikes me as UL-ish. Can someone come up with proof, or debunk this for me? Thanks a lot!
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Aart
The Red and the Green Stamps


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If it is not possible to sew up the wound, the arteries can be replaced with other ones from your body.
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spooky_rk
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Definitely a UL. A flatmate showed me the scars - he'd been saved and stitched up, although, I'm told, just barely in the nick of time. I can't remember exactly how many stitches he required in each arm, but it was in 3 figures. You do, apparently, bleed to death a lot quicker doing it this way than slashing across, but are certainly not "unsavable".

Spooky "um, this question was purely hypothitical, wasn't it?" RK

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'Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'
Or am I just paranoid?


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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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I heard a variation on this, that if you are going to cut your wrists, do it with a jagged blade like a hacksaw, because *those* wounds are impossible to stitch together.
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Island Manta
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I have had a ragged 'cut' before, albeit not from a suicide attempt. It was more from an underwater injury while wreck diving...super glue worked for me

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Duct tape is like the force...It has a light side & a dark side, and it holds the universe together.


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Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


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In Ordinary People the kid attempted suicide by cutting the long way. I think the idea is that it's too hard to cut through all the tendons and ligaments deeply enough to get to the serious arteries, but you can go between them quite effectively.

But really, if you really manage make a big enough mess that "they can't fix the damage" (but you're not dead yet), you think they're going to just let you die? If they have to, they'll cut your hands off to save you. Think ahead and try to do a neat job, just in case you aren't successful.

Chava


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huginn
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by vball girl12:
...However, if you slit your wrists vertically, there is no hope of you surviving, as these wounds are physically impossible to sew up.

A tourniquet around your arm will save you nicely, assuming you've still got enough blood left to survive. And herein is the germ of truth that probably spawned this UL.

If you slit your wrists horizontally (meaning in the direction of your wristband) you've got to saw through a lot of tendon and gristle to make even a small hole in the artery--and if you miss the artery, you'll succumb to old age waiting to bleed to death. If you go vertically, however, and hit the artery properly, you can make a much larger hole in a much shorter time. Not only do you start bleeding sooner, but you bleed faster, making it less likely that your discoverer will find you in time to save you.

hug"don't try this at home"inn


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snopes
Return! Return! Return!


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quote:
However, if you slit your wrists vertically, there is no hope of you surviving, as these wounds are physically impossible to sew up.

But it isn't necessary to "sew up" wounds to stop them from bleeding. Heck, if this were really a problem, they could simply amputate your hands above the wrist and thereby create wounds they could "sew up."

- snopes



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Fordo
Deck the Malls


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I was talking to a police officer about suicides once. He was telling me that Hollywood does not allow movies to show the right way to cut your wrists. He said that cutting across the wrist will not kill you. His explanation was that when you cut that way, the blood will clot up before you bleed to death. That's the only way Hollywood can show it.

He went on to say that when you cut parallel to the arm, it will kill you almost right away.

I never tried to verify his story, but the Hollywood part sounds a little ULish to me.

Fordo


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Purr Snickety
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Fordo:
I was talking to a police officer about suicides once. He was telling me that Hollywood does not allow movies to show the right way to cut your wrists. He said that cutting across the wrist will not kill you. His explanation was that when you cut that way, the blood will clot up before you bleed to death. That's the only way Hollywood can show it.

He went on to say that when you cut parallel to the arm, it will kill you almost right away.

I never tried to verify his story, but the Hollywood part sounds a little ULish to me.

Fordo


The movie "The Craft" shows the proper way... in fact, when Nancy sees the scars on Sarah's arms she says that Sarah "did it the right way." Although later in the movie when the Nancy cuts Sarah's wrists to make it look like she tried to kill herself again, she makes a diagonal slash in the middle of Sarah's forearm -- not anywhere near her wrist. But from what I remember, you could see that the scars on Sarah's arms were in the right spot. And it seems to me that there was another movie that mentioned 'the right way' to cut your wrists. But I'm pretty sure Hollywood doesn't have any sort of ban on it... there aren't a whole lot of movies that address the issue anyway.

Purr "Making the cut" Snickety

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If practice makes perfect, and no one is perfect, then why practice?


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amarinth
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The UL I have heard from several people (btw, I am not in any way shape or form agreeing with it - please do not read this as my opinion as I don't agree with it) was that people who really wanted to kill themselves cut their wrists the long way, while people who slashed across the wrist were only asking for attention.

I always thought that the warm water you keep your wrists in would stop the clotting ... ?


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megaira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
people who really wanted to kill themselves cut their wrists the long way, while people who slashed across the wrist were only asking for attention.

Nope, some are just too darn *dumb* to know the right way. Speaking from expeiance. Hey, I was 14...and dumb! At any rate, hat method wasn't working real well and darned if it didn't hurt (read: Meg=wimp), so I later moved on to interesting combinations of drugs and leeekir. I continued cutting myself up (elsewhere), but considering how good I was at hiding it and no one ever found out (except the wrist slicing), I wouldn't consider it a cry for attention. Rather, it was more of a "get the F away from me." Oh, wait, one friend knew about it...she teased me for years about the time I tried to "kill myself by slashing my ankles."

quote:
lways thought that the warm water you keep your wrists in would stop the clotting ... ?

Yup. But chances are, if you hit the artery you won't need to resort to that - a spurter isn't going to clot up on it's own without some help. However, a knick will. I'm assuming that rumor has been around a long time, but those who used to read Piers Anthony (ugh) might remember the "fractal mode" series where the girl was a habitual wrist slicer and won a contest to see who could bleed the longest. Yea, I want my 13 year old reading that crap one day.

Meg "slice this, Xanth-head! ::WHOMP!::" aira


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DrFraud
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by megaira:
some help. However, a knick will. I'm assuming that rumor has been around a long time, but those who used to read Piers Anthony (ugh) might remember the "fractal mode" series where the girl was a habitual wrist slicer and won a contest to see who could bleed the longest. Yea, I want my 13 year old reading that crap one day.


Actually, she didn't have to cut a thing to win. The guy she challenged was so grossed-out by the very idea of a "bleeding contest" that she won by default. And I love that series, in addition to much of Anthony's other work. YMMV.


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megaira
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by DrFraud:
Actually, she didn't have to cut a thing to win. The guy she challenged was so grossed-out by the very idea of a "bleeding contest" that she won by default. And I love that series, in addition to much of Anthony's other work. YMMV.

Hmm, I recalled something about bleeding into a bucket, but hey, you're the one reading the books, it's been a while for me & I'm not likely to pick them up again to find out.

The Adept series and Incarnations of Immortality seem to be the only non-trash he's turned out and even then, questionable.
Some might argue the Fall of Man/Woman books are good, I haven't touched them... "Firefly" fixed me. I haven't wanted to touch any of his swill since.

MMMV, indeed.

Meg "may he sink into a FL swamp" aira


[This message has been edited by megaira (edited 10-24-2000).]


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fermifan
The Red and the Green Stamps


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This reminds me of a story I think may be a UL. Some guy tries to kill himself by cutting his wrists perpendicular to the arm. He is found and rushed to the hospital. The doctor saves him and, when he wakes up, tells him that next time he should do it parallel to the arm. In one story, it was an army doctor.
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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by megaira:
Hmm, I recalled something about bleeding into a bucket, but hey, you're the one reading the books, it's been a while for me & I'm not likely to pick them up again to find out.

I like that series...
IIRC, she did have a bucket and was going to have a 'cutting contest' but the guy was grossed out and wouldn't do it. I think she also used a bucket or something when she was cutting herself on her own.


Xia (this topic is making me nauseated...)


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