Hunger Game: Survival Maths 1

April 11, 2012

How long can you live if you are bleeding?

Unlike Kill Bill where Tarantino used, literally, hundreds of litres of fake blood (See Mathspig Post: Don’t Bleed Your Fake Blood on Me), The Hunger Games shows very little blood.

Nevertheless 11 tributes are killed violently in the first few minutes of the game and Peeta is wounded later in the movie(pic with Katniss above).

To calculate how long you would last in The Hunger Games if bleeding we must know your volume of blood and the rate of bleeding.

1. How much blood do you have?

According to the BJA, the British Journal of Anaesthesia, blood volume is  7% of body weight in adults and 8 – 9 % of body weight in children.  Doctors are not confusing weight and volume. Blood is very close to the density of water and so 1 litre of blood weighs 1 kg. 

(NB: Future Engineers: Blood does not flow like water as the blood platelets affect the viscosity.)

Using blood volume (in litres) as 8% of body weight (in kg) then typical blood volumes for teenagers would be:

Age Group





Blood Volume


















2. How long would you last if bleeding?


Obviously, it will depend on the rate of bleeding.

According to the BJA massive blood loss equals a blood loss rate of 150ml/min or 50% of blood volume loss within 3 hrs.


B = total blood loss ml

R = rate blood loss in ml/ min = 150 ml / min

t = time min

B = Rt

B = 150 t

According to New Scientist loss of blood IN THE AVERAGE ADULT produces the following symptoms:

A  750 ml: feel blood loss

B  1500: weak, thirsty & anxious

C  2000 ml : dizzy, unconscious

D  3000 ml: Dead

See A, B, C and D on graph below.

3. How long have you got?

First, calculate  50% of your blood volume for your age.

Now go to the blood loss graph and see how long it would take you to lose this volume.

You can stop doing the maths now, mathspiggies, and get some help to stop the bleeding.


  1. Urggh! That’ll make ’em squeamish. Is it kosha to think about different injuries and their associated rates of blood loss? The graphs together will look great. Ps. Gruesome graphing.

    • Hey Talking Ed Guys, luv luv luv the idea of Gruesome Graphs. Will put something together. Cheers Mathspig

  2. Great application of Linear graphs Kerry. I will use this with my Year 9 class who incidentally are studying the circulatory system in Science at the moment. Keep the great blog posts coming!

    • Awesome Jeff. Keep up your fab blog work. Cheerio Mathspig

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