The Man Who Bled Green Blood
Blood is always associated with Red. But can you believe the fact that a man bled green blood during his leg surgery in Canada? This must have reminded you of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, the Enterprise’s science officer who had green Vulcan blood. According to this science fiction series, Mr. Spock had green blood because of the oxygen-carrying agent in Vulcan blood included copper rather than iron (The source that causes the color red). This was explained through Mr. Spock’s history, where he had a human mother and a Vulcan father. Thus he inherited his inability to decipher human emotion, as well as his green blood.
In this unnatural case of a 42-year-old man with green blood, the doctors found out that it was due to a rare condition called sulfhaemoglobinaemia, where sulfur is included in the oxygen-carrying compound hemoglobin in red blood cells. The source of sulfur was the large doses of sumatriptan – 200 milligrams a day that the man had been taking for migraine.
The man had undergone urgent surgery because he had developed a dangerous condition in his legs by sleeping in a sitting position. Asciotomies – limb-saving procedures were conducted on the man, which involved making surgical incisions to relieve pressure and swelling caused by the man’s condition, known as compartment syndrome. The syndrome involves swelling and pressure in a restricted space which limits blood flow and causes localized tissues and damage to the nerves. The reason behind this syndrome is trauma, internal bleeding or a wound dressing.
According to Dr Alana Flexman from St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, the recovery of the patient was uneventful and since he had stopped the dosage of sumatriptan after surgery, after five weeks, no sulfhaemoglobin was found in his blood.
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