What is the lethality of a sword(saber, particularly)?

I’m writing a story right now and in it someone is stabbed, very briefly, with a saber. Think like a marine’s saber. It goes in enough so four or five inches is sticking out the back of the person, then it is withdrawn. Is it possible for someone to survive such a wound? Like, if it misses the organs. If it’s not possible with a saber but with another sword I’d gladly change the type of sword in question.

If medicine isn’t the best place for this(it’s an odd question and I’d think somebody here would be knowledgeable about human anatomy enough to know this) where would be a better place? I mean, it is an odd question.

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2 comments

  • Missing an organ won’t guarantee any safety. An organ may be missed but most probably, a major blood vessel could have been injured. Such risk will be doubled if the sabre sword has "double-edged blade". Withdrawing the sword after stabbing also increases the injury and incurred.

    The victim have chances of survival if prompt management or treatment will be given. Otherwise, just a little delay will give a room for hemorrhage to cause death. Bleeding inside could become even more harmful. Since your scenario mentions it got stabbed at the back, chances of having increased tension inside the chest cavity (tension hemothorax) would compromise the respiratory functions that could also lead to death.

    Anyway, "the sword sticking out the back" and missed the organ…..Well, missed the heart,lungs, liver,spleen. Wow! A sabre sword is pretty thin so not that impossible. But as I mentioned, it could had missed the organ but definitely it could had harmed any of the blood vessels.

  • Assuming you miss all the organs, they would not die outright they would probably bleed to death.

    Not being a doctor, I would think anything short of hitting the heart would not be instantaneously lethal.

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