Where are the major arteries in your ears? If you puncture a major artery when you pierce your ear, will you die?

1 Answer
Jun 25, 2016

The major blood supply to the ear comes from the deep, anterior, and posterior auricular arteries.


Blood supply
(from hearinghealthmatters.org)

The deep auricular artery

The deep auricular artery is a small branch of the maxillary artery.

Auricular arteries
(from hearinghealthmatters.org)

It supplies blood to the lining of the ear canal and the outer surface of the ear drum.

The anterior auricular arteries

The anterior auricular arteries are small branches of the superficial temporal artery.

Anterior auricular
(from slideplayer.com)

They distribute blood to the front part of the visible ear and the external portion of the ear canal.

The posterior auricular artery

The posterior auricular artery is a branch of the external carotid artery.

It supplies blood to the rear portion of the visible ear.

Death from puncturing an auricular artery

The auricular arteries are relatively small, with a diameter of about 1 mm.

It is unlikely that you would lose blood fast enough to die from an accidental puncture.

If you want a quick but messy death, sever a carotid artery (diameter 4 -8 mm) with a sharp scalpel.

You will probably be unconscious from the pressure drop in a less than a minute and dead in 3 to 10 min.