Everyone is talking about Cedric Gracia’s gnarly Drift POV video that shows him almost bleed to death on the side of a mountain. It’s gnarly, it’s bloody terrifying and it’s a pretty good reminder that riding bikes can bite you in the ass if you ride hard.
We showed our mate Doctor James (who’s also a mountain biker) the video and asked him a few questions. Here goes!
So Doctor James, What did you reckon to CG’s video?
Yeah – I’ve seen the video. It serves as a timely reminder of the potentially very serious consequences of shredding in the wilderness!
What actually happens to CG in the vid then?
It’s not completely clear in the video exactly what happens, but from what we can see Cedric has a fast over-the-bars on a dual track segment of the course and smashes his right groin onto something. I wonder whether it was his handlebar – but I’ve only seen the video on a phone so it’s difficult to say.
There’s a lot of blood coming from the top of his right leg afterwards, again it’s impossible to say from a video whether he has damaged his femoral artery, or his femoral vein. Either way these can bleed like hell. I gather from internet hearsay that it was in fact his femoral artery.
What’s a femoral artery?
The femoral artery is the only major blood supply to your leg, and carries all the oxygen and glucose required by your leg muscles. In a resting adult the blood flowing through it is around 350mls per minute (that’s a normal, resting individual, not an elite athlete who is clearly hauling ass). Exercise can increase that 350mls by a factor of at least 3 as your muscles demand so much more oxygen. That’s a lot of blood.
So cutting it is pretty bad right?
What are your chances of survival?
A tricky one, internet maths might suggest that with an average blood volume of 5 litres and flow of 350ml a minute you’ll bleed out in 14.2 minutes, but obviously it’s more complicated than that; you’re unlikely to sever the artery completely, the artery will use various methods to try and block itself off, and the flow rate will diminish as you lose blood. The bottom line is it is very serious, most certainly life threatening, and your survival will depend on prompt initial management, but will ultimately likely require surgical intervention.
Do Cedric and his buddy respond in the correct way?
Absolutely. If you or your buddy has a serious arterial bleed the most important thing to do is to try and stop them losing any more of that all-important red stuff. In the absence of an operating theatre and a vascular surgeon this means direct pressure over the bleeding (which is what CG and his buddy did here – and did really well) or what the military have brought back into fashion again is a good ol’ fashioned tourniquet.
Is kneeing your riding buddy in the balls really the answer?
Always. That’s not necessarily my medical opinion, just an opinion, and it does of course depend on the riding buddy!
Cheers doc! Stay safe out there kids! And most of all. Get well soon Cedric!