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Does blood really come out of your mouth if you get shot? © Dan Bright

Does blood really come out of your mouth if you get shot?

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Science says: yippee ki-nay

Like with most of Hollywood, it’s possible – but not likely to the degree you see in films.


In theory, an abdominal wound could cause someone to vomit up blood (known as haematemesis). But usually the bleeding happens internally, and pools in the cavity of the abdomen. Similarly, bleeding in the lungs from a wound might cause a person to cough up blood (known as haemoptysis). Trauma in the mouth might also make someone spit blood.

But the violent, gravity-defying blood spurts you see in movies are simply for dramatic effect, and not very realistic.

Asked by: Yasmin Hayes (age 15), London

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Dr Nish Manek is a GP in London. She completed her medical degree at Imperial College and was runner-up in the University of London Gold Medal. Manek has also developed teaching courses for Oxford Medical School, and has penned articles for The Guardian and Pulse magazine.


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