Green-blooded man not a Vulcan

June 9, 2007

Don’t fret. The patient is expected to live long and prosper.
clipped from www.newscientist.com

Patient shocks surgeons with green blood

Surgeons operating on a 42-year-old Canadian man got a shock when they discovered dark-green blood coursing through his arteries, like Star Trek‘s Mr Spock.

Stunned, the medical team immediately sent his blood for analysis. The test revealed the blood discolouration was caused by sulfhaemoglobinaemia, which occurs when a sulphur atom gets incorporated into the oxygen-carrying haemoglobin protein in blood.

Doctors suspected that the patient’s migraine medication caused the condition.

“The patient recovered uneventfully, and stopped taking sumatriptan after discharge. When seen five weeks after his last dose, he was found to have no sulfhaemoglobin in his blood,” they added.

Mr Spock’s green Vulcan blood was supposed to have been caused by copper replacing the iron in haemoglobin.

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