Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Weird: The Toxic Blood

Since it's October, the month of Halloween, I figured I'd try to pick extra weird or scary things for my Wednesday Weird posts. Of course, I already missed two (one was for ISWSG and the other I just forgot) but also, there's 5 Wednesdays this month so I think it will all work out.

Today we're going to talk about an urban legend.

Have you heard that story about a woman who arrives at a hospital who's blood turns out to be so toxic that people have to flee for their lives?

Well, if you have or haven't, the story is totally true.

On February 14th, 1994, 31 year old Gloria Ramirez was suffering from advanced cervical cancer and was admitted to a California ER.

Gloria was not doing well at all, and at one point the hospital staff had to remove her shirt to defibrillator her heart. When they did so, they noticed an oily sheen on her skin and a few other staff said they noticed a fruity or garlicky smell that seemed to be coming from her mouth.

When a nurse drew Gloria's blood for tests, she detected a foul odor - chemical, like ammonia. Other staff could smell it too, and one staff member noticed manila colored particles floating in the syringe of blood.

And then hospital staff started to gag and collapse.

23 people were affected, and the ER was evacuated while a decontamination unit was brought in.

Unfortunately Gloria died 40 minutes later. An autopsy was performed (in hazmat suits, natch) but despite a detailed and massive forensic investigation, it's still not known what happened to turn Gloria's blood into a toxic ooze.

A lot of people try to write this case off as mass hysteria. Which, let's be honest, could totally be the case.

EXCEPT. The worst victim of the 23 people affected by Gloria's blood spent two weeks in intensive care, suffering from hepatitis, pancreatitis and avascular necorosis (a condition which cause BONES to DIE) so that kind of nukes (heh) the whole mass hysteria theory.

The mostly likely case is that a medication Gloria was taking, interacted with another medication, etc and turned her blood into a potent nerve gas. But nothing is conclusive yet.

Just don't forget, human beings are walking, talking chemical reactions, so sometimes, you never know what you're going to get.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now that is really scary!

Rena said...

Holy Krakatoa! that's freaky!!!!!

Now to go hide in my closet filled with soft fluffy blankets and no possible way to actually draw blood.

Matthew MacNish said...

Porphyric hemophilia.

Maria Zannini said...

Poor woman. What a way to go.

I seem to remember a story about hospital staff getting sick from a patient. This was probably that story.

Johanna Garth said...

Yikes, that is freaky. But a good Halloween story.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Okay that's quite frightening. Yikes.

LD Masterson said...

Well, heck. Wish I hadn't read this just before going to bed.

Teebore said...

She's clearly a mutant...

so sometimes, you never know what you're going to get.

Love it. Our bodies are walking biological catastrophes waiting to happen!

Southpaw said...

That is totally freaky!

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