09 June 2007

Man with green blood not Vulcan

Canadian surgeons were shocked when the patient they were operating on began shedding dark greenish-black blood. The patient was not Vulcan - the blood was down to the migraine medication he was taking.

The patient had been taking large doses of sumatriptan and this had caused a rare condition called sulfhaemoglobinaemia, where sulphur is incorporated into his haemoglobin. Describing the case in the Lancet, the doctors "The patient recovered uneventfully, and stopped taking sumatriptan after discharge.

In Star Trek, Mr Spock had green blood because the oxygen-carrying agent in Vulcan blood included copper, rather than iron. Copper, rather than iron is a key component of the second most commonly found respiratory pigment in the Animal Kingdom. Haemocyanin is found in Molluscs but gives their blood a bluish tinge when oxygenated.

I'll pass on a picture of Spock or a mollusc for this post...

8 comments:

david santos said...

Thanks for you work and have a good weekend

Aaron said...

That must have freaked them out!

I bet they have seen so many movies where shit like that happens.

nurse: Dr. errrr, I think you should look at this

dr: Sh*t!, quick someone call the pentagon!

Roger B. said...

As Spock would say, "Fascinating."

jams o donnell said...

Thanks David!

Blody hell Aaron if I was the surgeon I would probably be taken aback if I didn't fill my pants that is!

With the raising of an eyebrow I'm sure Roger!

Shaz said...

OMG! That's shocking! Pleased the patient recovered though

jams o donnell said...

Bloody shocking Shaz (pardon the pun). I am glad too but it must have been a big surprise

betmo said...

ick! sorry for the guy but that is kinda gross :)

jams o donnell said...

It was pretty astonishing for all concerned methinks Betmo. It's good to se that it was easily treated though