Woman’s blood turned blue after she used numbing cream to treat toothache

News

A 25-year-old woman walked into an emergency department in Providence, Rhode Island, complaining of generalized weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath… and an unusual symptom you don’t see every day.

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A 25-year-old woman walked into an emergency department in Providence, Rhode Island, complaining of generalized weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath… and an unusual symptom you don’t see every day.

She was turning blue. Literally.

Physicians Otis Warren and Benjamin Blackwood wrote about the case in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.

They attributed her blueness to a numbing agent the woman was using, which deadens nerve endings in the skin.

“She reported having used large amounts of topical benzocaine the night before for a toothache,” the two co-authors wrote.

CNN has reached out to Otis Warren, an emergency medicine physician at Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, and is waiting to hear back.

It’s caused by low oxygen levels

Warren and Blackwood wrote that the patient was “cyanotic,” a clinical term for the blue appearance.

According to Healthline, “cyanosis is usually caused by low oxygen levels in the red blood cells or problems getting oxygenated blood to your body.”

The woman was showing signs of “acquired methemoglobinemia.”

Oxygen-rich blood is usually associated with a bright red color, but when blood has lower oxygen content it can appear blue, the site says.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.

Popular

Latest News

More News