Lara Croft – From Mary Sue, to Wonder Woman, to Balance

Hello dear fellows, Byakko here. This thread is the start of a hopefully long series in which I compare the in-game physics and science to the one we are all forced to live in. In this specific scenario, I will take on the chance of survival of Lara Croft during the 2013’s Tomb Raider game. During the first sequence of the game, Lara is tied. Upon escaping she falls to the ground, where an Iron rod is piercing her abdomen. The first thing she does is remove the rod and continue on in an agony trying to escape. However, is it realistic?
Let’s look into it objectively. Below you will see a list of conditions that are clearly shown during the game:
1. Physical characteristics: – Approximation 1.68 cm tall – Approximation 60 kgs – Blood volume 3.9L according to the formula (BloodVol = Weight * AvgBloodVol) – Good initial physical condition with really low body fat [less than1%] and good mental conditions. – Extreme dehydration – Mental stress causing big spikes of adrenalin and increased heartbeat rate.
2. Location of the wound: The rod goes through her lower left abdomen – According to the human physiology, this would cause the following: – Severe rupture of blood vessels, both Vena Cavae inferior and superior and possibly a left kidney damage. – Possibly a complete rupture of the small intestines – Double puncture wound with extreme internal bleeding – Muscle tearing
3. Countermeasures made and negative effects – Open wound – Upon removing the rod, Lara Croft makes one of the most basic mistakes further opening the wound increasing the space from which the blood can move out. Furthermore, this often causes increased blood vessel, muscle tearing. – A lot of physical excursions – Soon after the incident, Lara is forced into fast phase moving which further increases the speed and stress of the heart. – Lara Croft does not use a bondage to lower the amount of external bleeding, does not use fire to further decrease this or make any attempts at stopping it.”
Now, let’s look into the different levels of blood loss in order for us to determine the amount of blood loss Lara needs to sustain before critical condition:
– 0-15% – No effect – 15-30% – Loss of strength, pale, heavy breathing for higher oxygen income.
– 30-40% – Loss of consciousness and a mandatory blood transfusion.
– 40%+ – Results in the heart-stopping quickly. It can no longer keep up and can’t increase the beats per minute. The body is failing. Unless treated immediately, certain death will occur.
Now, as you note, we already know the physical characteristics of Lara from point one. Due to this, we can determine that 40% of 3.9L is 1.56L of blood. The moment Lara reaches this point, we can officially consider her death. With all this in mind, let’s go ahead to the juicy part.
In order for us to determine the time, we need to determine the rate of blood loss. In other words, what we are looking to determine is the ml of blood lost each second. To make the matter simpler, we will drop the factor of muscle damage, intestines and multiple blood vessels being ripped apart. Instead, we will just consider the minimal possible damage. One individual Vena Cavae being completely ripped apart.
The blood velocity in Vena cavae inferior/superior moves at around 15 cm/s. To make things more simplistic for this calculation, we will determine that each second, this blood goes out of the blood vessel circulation system. This would result in about 15ml of blood loss a second. Now, to calculate how long it would take, for Lara to reach the critical point of 1560ml, we need to divide the two.
1560/15 = 104 second till Lara reaches Critical condition. At this point, 104 seconds in, Lara is unconscious. Her Heart starts beating with up to 140 beats per second, her blood pressure falls under 70, severe Tachypnea reaching upwards to 20 breaths a second causing huge stress on her body, resulting in a COMA. At this point, her vital organs start failing one by one resulting in death.
Please, note that in the calculations, while I assumed Vena Cavae being affected, I did not include the facts that she is under low oxygen environment, high stress, increased blood pressure, increased adrenalin rush, possibly the rupture of a kidney, intestines and muscles and many more conditions in this specific scenario.
I hope you enjoyed this slightly educational article and it allowed you to learn more about the human body, physics, the importance of good mental and physical condition and first aid.

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