Hearts of Stone
Wound levels in Savage Worlds match reasonably well with the symptoms of hypovolemic shock, which is the default assumption for paramedics treating trauma victims.
Shaken: This corresponds to losing about a litre of blood, maybe 10-15% of your circulation volume; a bit more than the average blood donation. You may, or may not, feel weak, light-headed and wobbly. Your heart rate may increase a little. All you need to recover is a nice cup of tea and a sit-down.
One Wound: You’ve lost up to 30% of your blood volume, call it 1 to 1.5 litres. Typically you’re now agitated (-1 to skill rolls), breathing faster to offset the loss of oxygenation, and your skin is cold and clammy as your body reserves blood for the important core organs – the brain and lungs begin to die after 4-6 minutes without blood, other organs last longer.
Two Wounds: Loss of 1.5 to 2 litres, 30-40% of your blood volume. You’re breathing hard and fast now; your heart rate is up, but it can’t compensate for the loss of blood, so your blood pressure is falling. The body protects your brain’s blood flow as a priority, but it can’t cope by this stage, so you’re confused (-2 to skill rolls), and may get tunnel vision or greyed-out vision. In the real world, blood transfusions are called for.
Three Wounds. You’ve lost more than 40% of your blood, more than 2 litres for most people. This is life-threatening. Your blood pressure has crashed, your heart rate is over 140 beats per minute as it tries (and fails) to compensate, your respiration has collapsed, you’re lethargic and while you may still be thinking straight it’s only in short bursts (-3 to skill rolls). Your skin is pale and cold, and you’re quite likely to black out.
Incapacitated: Irreversible shock sets in. You get all of the above, but more severely; you have a sense of impending doom, and rightly so. In the real world, even if you survive the initial trauma, you could die from it any time in the next few days.
People in great physical shape (high Vigour, Brawny Edge) may compensate for blood loss more effectively, so they are harder to wound in the first place. However, while bigger people have more blood to lose, they also have bigger veins and arteries to lose it through, so the rate of loss is pretty much constant, therefore they don’t have more Wounds.
Healing Rolls: The priority is to stop further blood loss by applying pressure, tourniquets, etc. The patient is laid down, kept warm and protected from weather, and gets plenty of fluids to restore circulation volume.