Death from ruptured artery - a bit gruesome

Sadly, my father has terminal cancer. He has multiple tumours and is unlikely to survive more than a couple of months. Because of the location of the most obvious tumour in one of his carotid glands his doctors have highlighted a rupture of the carotid artery as a possible scenario. My question is, how swiftly would he likely lose consciousness and would it be a ‘good’ death, bearing in mind the alternatives?

IANAD, but based on my ERT training, and a quick double-check online right now, a ruptured artery in that location kills virtually everyone who has it quickly, before they can reach a hospital.

Rapid blood loss causes shock and then unconsciousness. There may be some pain, but given the tumors, it might not be noticeable amongst the other pain, and his treatments.

Hopefully a real doctor will answer this, because I’m not one. But wouldn’t a ruptured carotid result in unconsciousness in 5-10 seconds, and death in a few minutes?

I assume you meant to say “parotid” gland as the location of the tumor. That being said the consequence of carotid rupture may depend on whether the vessel ruptured into esophagus/trachea, out of the skin or into soft tissue where it may build up enough pressure to slow bleeding.

I worked at a hospice for several years and I think Sunny Daze’s post is accurate. Be prepared for the potential for a very large amount of blood. If this was a possibility we used to discreetly keep a stack of brown (not white) towels at the patient’s bedside.

Wishing you the best.