Recently, I witnessed a pedestrian-vehicle collision. As I approached, nobody was rendering aid, so I took it upon myself to do so. The man wasn't breathing, so I applied basic first aid by tilting his chin to clear his airway (following A-B-C, deciding breathing was more important that possible neck injury). When I did so, he immediately coughed up massive red "globules" or "chunks," along with tremendous amounts of blood. Then, he began labored breathing.

Until EMS arrive, he continued to dribble blood, while occasionally thrashing and then coughing another "big globule" or "chunk," red and covered with blood, and slightly slimy looking. I didn't touch these so I have no idea their consistency beyond appearance. These chunks were about golf-ball sized, and roughly spherical.

I don't have much information on his injuries as I don't have much training. He did have a big dent in his head but he had a pulse and was breathing, so I'm assuming the chunks weren't, like, his brains or something. What might I have been looking at?

  • 4
    Probably partially clotted blood, but it could have included almost any body tissues from his lungs, esophagus, mouth and throat, etc. You were correct to prioritize ABCs over spine, but if you've been trained to do a jaw thrust that's how you open an airway when spinal injuries are suspected. Unfortunately, I'm afraid this isn't really an answerable question. Answers would necessarily be opinion.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jul 10 '18 at 1:48
  • Fair point that it's probably unanswerable. What do I do with an unanswerable question? Also, re: clotted blood, can it clot that fast? The first chunk was emitted within I would say about 2 minutes of impact.
    – Caleb Jay
    Jul 10 '18 at 16:48
  • You don't need to do anything, although you can delete it if you want. It already has 3 close votes so it will probably end up closed anyway.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jul 10 '18 at 18:57
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    Blood can begin to clot pretty quickly, but it could have been pieces of tissue as well, and just because he was still breathing doesn't mean it wasn't brain tissue. Major trauma like that can produce some ugly, unidentifiable substances. Given what you've described I doubt he survived.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jul 10 '18 at 18:57

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