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Common Numbing Medication Causes Woman’s Blood to Turn Inky Blue

Doctors in Providence, Rhode Island, recently reported the case of a 25-year-old woman whose blood had turned dark blue after using medication containing a common numbing agent.

The unnamed woman reportedly walked into a Rhode Island emergency room complaining of general weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath and a symptom that made even seasoned medical staff do a double take – she was visibly turning blue. Doctors described the patient as “cyanotic,” the clinical term for blue and grey discolouration of the skin, which was attributed to the use of benzocaine, an active ingredient in over-the-counter toothache and cold sore medication.

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