‘Home Alone’: Real-Life Trauma Surgeon Confirms the Most Severe, Life-Threatening Injuries

Home Alone is a holiday movie that families watch around the world annually. It’s imbued with Christmas set decorations and a setting that makes many viewers feel nostalgic. However, Home Alone is also filled with hilarious physical comedy. Real-life trauma surgeon Annie Onishi recently went through the first two Home Alone installments to explain which injuries are the most severe and life-threatening.

‘Home Alone’ mixes violence and physical comedy

1990’s Home Alone follows 8-year-old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), who is a known troublemaker in his family. They all leave to go on a wonderful vacation for the Christmas holiday. But, they eventually realize that they accidentally left Kevin all by himself at home. Burglars Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Joe Pesci) attempt to break in. However, Kevin won’t let them get away with it.

1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is even more popular in some circles. The sequel is set a year after its predecessor. Kevin finds himself stranded yet again, but this time in New York City. Marv and Harry are back and this time, they don’t plan on letting him get away. However, Home Alone 2 is filled with even more physical comedy in the form of hilarious violence.

The most serious injuries in ‘Home Alone’

The official WIRED YouTube channel posted a video of real-life trauma surgeon Onishi. She went through the first two Home Alone movies and explained every single injury. It makes one think how fragile the human body truly is.

Onishi describes Harry’s very first fall in Home Alone on the steps in front of Kevin’s home as “the most severe” in the film series. “He’s up a couple of steps, he gets full air, and then he lands flat on his back,” Onishi said. “That’s gonna be a lot of force right on that landing surface.”

The second seriously lethal injury that concerns Onishi is where the two burglars are hit in the head with a shovel. “We see both guys completely passed out, total loss of consciousness,” Onishi described. “But, then a couple minutes later, these guys are back up, walking and talking. This makes me really concerned for something called an epidural hematoma.”

Onishi continued: “What that means is that there’s blood accumulating in the epidural space, which is underneath the skull, but outside the brain and expanding slowly. Classically, these people have a big head bonk, maybe from a shovel, they come to, and then they have what’s called a lucid interval. Slowly but surely, as that blood expands within the epidural space, they then start to lose consciousness again and can even go on to herniate and die pretty quickly.”

The sequel has even more intense injuries

Onishi jumps into Home Alone 2 and claimed that Kevin throwing bricks at Marv from the rooftop is one of the most severe injuries in either film. “Four bricks to the head from a high height versus the shovel to the head by the neighbor,” Onishi told WIRED. “So, his inability to speak could be the sign of a pretty severe brain bleed inside, especially over the area that controls our speech, which is usually the left side of our brain.

Next, she calls Marv’s electrocution the most lethal in either film. “As the current travels through the body, the body tissues act as a resistor, which produces heat as electricity travels through,” Onishi said. “So, pretty much anything in the line of fire from that source to where the patient’s grounded is just gonna get fried. The most dangerous things that can happen are cardiac arrhythmias … It can cause kidney failure, it can cause the muscle tissue anywhere in the body to just melt and liquefy.”

Finally Onishi noted Harry’s toilet explosion as “non-survivable.” “The airway is subject to superheated air and other chemicals that are burning,” Onishi said. “What that leads to is severe swelling of the airway to the point that the airway can actually swell shut. That’s gonna be a giant heat sink with a lot of mechanical force from the explosion directly to the face and airways.”

Home Alone and Home Alone 2 are available to stream on Disney+.

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