Nux uses Mad Max as a "blood bag" in Fury Road.

At first he is suspended upside down in the Citadel to hasten blood draining. Later, Mad Max is chained to the front of a car with a blood line going from his neck along a chain back to Nux. Most of the blood line looks red even during the first road chase scene, but I don't know if the blood was actively flowing through it at that moment.

Mad Max suffers several injuries throughout the film, yet he remains very physically active and mentally alert. He fought for several hours despite heat, dehydration, and lack of rest. At one point in the film, Max gives his blood to Furiosa for a few minutes, thus reducing his blood volume even more.

Wikipedia says that a healthy person can endure a loss of 10–15% of the total blood volume without serious medical difficulties. Beyond that, a person develops a rapid heartbeat as the heart gears up to pump the lower volume through the body quickly to keep the body oxygenated. Severe blood loss can lead to shock, reduced body temperature, lethargy, lowered mental acuity, unconsciousness, and death.

So how much blood did he lose?

I prefer answers from canon sources. (Movie scripts, novelization, or comments by cast and crew.)

  • Clearly he lost somewhere between 0-9.9% of his total blood volume.... but this may shed some light for you: books.google.com/…" – Odin1806 Jun 24 '17 at 17:30
  • @Odin1806 Thanks for the link. You could write up an answer based on that. – RichS Jun 24 '17 at 18:07
  • I didn't really read through all of it. just skimmed it and thought it might get you onto the answer you were looking for. I'm just glad it helped you! – Odin1806 Jun 24 '17 at 19:23
  • If nobody else writes this up as answer, I will. :-) – RichS Jun 27 '17 at 4:58

This answer is based on a link provided by Odin1806.

The blood tube is attached to Max in the right subclavian artery, which has a blood flow of 167 ml / minute.

Nux attaches the tube to Max at 11:22 minutes into the film, and the blood transfusion stops at 31:12. That's 19:50 minutes of blood flow.

Volume of blood loss = flow rate * time. 167 ml / minute * 20 minutes is about 3.3 liters.

This gives us a volume of 3.3 liters. A grown male of Max's body type has about 5.3 liters, so his loss is about 60% of his blood volume. A loss of 40% of blood will cause unconsciousness and eventual death. Max should be dead after just 12 minutes of blood transfusion.

But maybe he did not lose so much. Let's make a few assumptions to tip the numbers in his favor.

  • The blood flow rate should drop as Max loses blood.
  • Maybe Nux inserted the tube into the edge of Max's subclavian artery, instead of the center, so the blood flow into the tube might be just half the actual flow. (I know this is speculative, but I am trying to keep Max alive here.)
  • Let's also say the blood tube was not in an ideal position for maximum blood flow rate while Max was strapped to the front of a vehicle. Perhaps for several minutes, his blood loss rate was as low as 20 ml / minute.

Let's restate our numbers and then recalculate. Max loses blood at a rate of 80 ml / minute for 5 minutes before he is strapped to a vehicle. Then he loses blood at an average rate of 20 ml / minute for 14 minutes.

80 ml / minute * 5 minutes = 400 ml.

20 ml / minute * 15 minutes = 300 ml.

That means Max lost only 700 ml of blood; just 13% of his blood volume.

This amount of loss is no life threatening by itself since a healthy person can endure a loss of 10–15% of the total blood volume without serious medical difficulties. It is still a handicap during prolonged combat because he could not oxygenate his muscles as quickly as necessary. Without sufficient blood flow to both brain and muscles, his brain function would deteriorate and he would feel exhausted.

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