Finding The Famous Painting of the Blue People of Kentucky - DNA Science (2023)

Ricki Lewis, PhD Uncategorized

Finding The Famous Painting of the Blue People of Kentucky - DNA Science (1)

Most stories about the blue people of Kentucky include an eerie, compelling drawing of a family, with the stark faces of 5 of the 9 members a striking bluish-gray, due to an inherited disease. Most stories also borrow heavily from a terrific article by Cathy Frost from Science 82, a long-gone magazine that I quite liked. Frost’s piece, “The Blue People of Troublesome Creek,”is usually credited, but the painting not, or misattributed to ABC News, various newspapers, or simply deemed “unknown.”

Theartist Walt Spitzmiller in fact painted the portrait of the Fugate family (see Walt Spitzmiller Fine Art). A Science 82 editor asked him in 1982 to draw a family, who lived in rural Kentucky, in which the father and some of the children had blue skin. “That’s all I knew about it. I did research on the period they talked about and took old photos and put them together. I added the hunting dog in the lower right, the rooster, that type of thing to add authenticity,” Walt told me.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUGATES
The blue people of Troublesome Creek had methemoglobinemia, a metabolic condition affecting hemoglobin, the four-part protein that carries oxygen bound to an iron atom at each subunit’s core. Like my recent post about the deaf community on Martha’s Vineyard, it is a tale of an autosomal recessive disease that has dissipated over time as the descendants of the original carrier couple left home. The community in Chilmark so embraced the hearing impaired among them that everyone used their own local form of sign language. The Kentucky families did not experience such acceptance, according to the sparse literature on them. Their blue hue was a genetic badge of inbreeding.

I’ve written about the blue people in nearly every edition of my human genetics textbook. Because part of the blue people tale is about plagiarizing, I’ll plagiarize myself:

“A rare but very noticeable condition of abnormal hemoglobin affects the “blue people of Troublesome Creek”. Seven generations ago, in 1820, a French orphan named Martin Fugate who settled in this area of Kentucky brought in an autosomal recessive gene that causes methemoglobinemia. Martin’s mutation was in the CYP5R3 gene, which encodes an enzyme (cytochrome b5 methemoglobin reductase) that normally catalyzes a reaction that converts a type of hemoglobin with poor oxygen affinity, methemoglobin, back into normal hemoglobin by adding an electron. Martin was a heterozygote but still slightly bluish. His wife, Elizabeth Smith, was also a carrier for this very rare disease, and four of their seven children were blue. After extensive inbreeding in the isolated community—their son married his aunt, for example—a large pedigree of “blue people” of both sexes arose.

In “blue person disease,” excess oxygen-poor hemoglobin causes a dark blue complexion. Carriers may have bluish lips and fingernails at birth, which usually lighten. Treatment is simple: A tablet of methylene blue, a commonly used dye adds the electron back to methemoglobin, converting it to normal hemoglobin. In most members of the Fugate family, blueness was the only symptom. Normally, less than 1 percent of hemoglobin molecules are the methemoglobin form, which binds less oxygen. The Fugates had 10 to 20 percent in this form. People with the inherited condition who have more than 20 percent methemoglobin may suffer seizures, heart failure, and even death.”

Once young people began leaving the hollows of Kentucky, disease incidence there plummeted. Methemoglobinemia is also seen in Alaska and Algeria, and among Navajo Indians.

TRACKING DOWN THE PORTRAIT
Writing a science textbook entails much more than explaining; there’s also art, photos, the pedagogical elements like questions and summaries, and layout to consider. I’m encouraged to find freebie photos in a “digital asset library” the publisher maintains, but something as specific as the blue Fugates wouldn’t be among the stock photos.

I’d requested Walt’s image, which I’d seen everywhere, for past editions, with no luck — McGraw-Hill required permission from the copyright holder, and photo editors inevitably ended up with newspapers or TV stations that had run the image and claimed it as their own. That wasn’t good enough.

I’m working on the 12th edition now, so thought I’d try again, dragging the famous image from a Google search into the digital publishing platform that has replaced dead trees, in the part of the chapter on mutation about hemoglobin. A few weeks later, I heard from a photo editor, one I hadn’t worked with before, Molly Berke. I’d left a note that the image, grainy and faded, appeared everywhere, but I’d had trouble getting permission to use it. Molly, an artist herself, instantly recognized the talent behind the painting and, sympathetic to the forgotten artist, was determined to track it down. And she did.

The only assistance I could provide was to explain that Science 82 was not Science magazine from 1982, but a stand-alone magazine. From there, googling, Molly finally found an obscuresource that had a name. Bingo! “I do photography, paint, and collect vintage photographs. I just figured this guy, as good as he is, had his own studio.So, I googled him. He does!” she emailed me.

(Video) Why This Man’s Skin Turned Blue

Walt Spitzmiller answered her e-mail right away and they spoke. Then he offered to snail mail the “only original slide of the painting on earth,” Molly told me. She helped him find someone to replicate the slide and create a digital image, which opens up this post. “I’m old school, having done photo research since the late ‘80s, and I know what that slide was worth, not just monetarily, but in legacy to his family because of his artistry. A badly scanned copy has proliferated on the Internet, stolen and reused without permission countless times. The real image is so gorgeous, a feast for the eyes. Photo research is cool!”

Walt graciously gave permission for me to use the image here, knowing it would be zapped around the Internet to join its blurry echoes, and I’ve ordered a print for myself.

THE BIGGER PICTURE
I like to end DNA Science posts with general musings and opinion, and a few things come to mind with the story of the blue people of Kentucky.

1. On plagiarism and fair use. The publishing world has turned upside down, and while I still earn most of my income from textbooks (I’ve also written an inexpensive, short human genetics bookfor a different publisher,second edition coming in December), much of my shorter work is republished with my earning little or nothing, websitesnot even letting me know they’ve used my work. I’ve gotten used to it. But photographs and original paintings are another matter. They’re more lasting than blog posts.

2. Editors are important. I’ve learned nearly all I know about writing from copyeditors. Developmental editors guide book-long projects. Magazine, journal, and newspaper (remember those?) editors help a writer get to the point and make it well. Art editors manage the dozens of illustrations that go into a science textbook. And photo editors sometimes solve decades-long mysteries, as did Molly Berke. These talented professionals, editors, should not be replaced with digital image libraries, databases, and worst of all, the aggregator algorithms that butcher science news on a daily basis, regurgitating news releases with little nuance or context.

3. On the prevalence of rare recessive diseases. Certain recessive diseases persist because carrier status protects against a different disease: sickle cell protecting against malaria is the classic example of this balancing selection.

Might a new mechanism of balancing selection be emerging, as the ease of travel disperses carriers of the same disease, while social media unites them? The blue people of Kentucky and the deaf of Martha’s Vineyard illustrate the dilution of genetic disease. Yet Facebook groups have enabled the meeting of many people who have mutations in the same gene. This is wonderful, but it could facilitate transmission of the disease when carriers have children together. A sad recent example is the “Fault in Their Stars” couple, Dalton and Katie Prager, who hadn’t had children, butmet on Facebook at age 18 and married at 20. He died at 25 a few days ago, from complications following a double lung transplant for cystic fibrosis that had kept him from staying with Katie in hospice care back home in, ironically, Kentucky.

4. On the importance of phenotype, not just genotype. The straightforward treatment for methemoglobinemia came from Madison Cawein, a young hematologist who drove hours from the University of Kentucky in Lexington to visit the blue people in the hollows of Appalachia in the early 1960s. He sampled their blood, recognized the enzyme deficiency, and hypothesized that the harmless dye methylene blue might provide the missing electrons to restore the ferrous state of iron in the hemoglobin molecules. The lesson: Sometimes a treatment arises from understanding the biochemistry of an inherited disease – not just sequencing DNA. I’ll return to that theme soon.

Discussion
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  4. This is so interesting!! Had never heard of them. My daughter has been reading a book about the “Blue People of Kentucky”!! It is obviously a “medical condition” that has probably become almost gone with time. Anyway, what information you can send me about them from time to time would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Reply

    (Video) Signs of EYE COLOR ANCESTRY You Shouldn't Ignore
    1. Martin Fugate is my 6 gr grandfather. i waa surprised as anyone to learn of them and this year to discover them in my Kentucky family tree!

    2. How exciting!!! I have the photo framed in my hallway.

  5. Hey, Dr. Lewis, I just wanted to let you know that your link to the Science 82 article is no good, as it seems to have been moved to another URL or deleted by the host. I tried to find an older version of it on Wayback Machine, but the earliest capture is June 2020, after its removal. I’d really like to read it, and it should be preserved, so if you have any way of finding or publishing another online copy, that would be great. You’re a remarkable writer, I really enjoyed the read.

    Reply

    1. Thanks, Science 82 wasn’t around for very long — sorry I can’t be of help.

    1. Thanks, John and Ricki. The compelling Science82 article is a nice complement to Ricki’s post. Isn’t science intriguing?!

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  6. I love this painting. You mentioned you’d ordered a print for yourself, but I’m wondering if prints are actually available for purchase somewhere? I’m a bit fussy when it comes to make sure an artist is credited and compensated for his work but I’ve love to hang it on my wall.

    Reply

    1. Thanks. Alas, I don’t think so.

  7. I discovered through DNA matches that I have a cousin who is a related to the blue Fugates and apparently one of my uncles from Ireland in the 1800s married a Fugate .They must have been hillbillies at the time, I also discovered quite to my surprise that I have Romani and Kale ancestors and also European royalty going back to the Plantagenets, At the end of the day everyone on the Earth is connected one way or another.By doing a DNA test you can really discover who you are. I always knew that I was half Irish with some Indian and African as that was my most recent history. I didn´t however imagine that i was also Scandanavian , German Dutch, Russian, Native American, Maya and many many more. Noone on the planet is 100% of one country as families tended to mix over thousands and thousands of years.

    Reply

    1. That’s fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

  8. apperantly im related to the blue fugates throgh my fathers side and blackfoot indian royal from my mothers side im ealy glad to know that im related to such special people

  9. Thank you, Dr. Lewis, for your very informative blog. I recently saw a fictional book titled, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, in my selection list from BookBub. My parents grew up in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky. I dimly remember my grandfather once telling us about some people on another creek who had blue skin. I didn’t believe him because my brother had just asked him if he’d ever seen an alien. This was some 62+ years ago. When I was looking for information on this topic, I found your really interesting article. Now I need to find how close Troublesome Creek is to Smith Creek. Again, thank you! By-the-by, I grew up in the desert of Arizona.

    Reply

    1. Anna, I’ve seen that book on Facebook. Is it good? I love historical fiction. Thanks for writing.

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  10. I love the book “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek”. It opened my eyes to methemoglobinemia. I am a retired nurse and had not heard of it before.

    The book points out discrimination against “coloreds” both black people and blue people. Quite a shock to me, but the book is well written and I am enjoying the historical fiction very much. Well worth a read!

    Reply

    1. Thanks, I’ve heard great things about this book!

  11. Wow the science here is exact, I’ve done all the research my self… I was drawn tto these people for 2 or more reasons.. I personally have methemoglobinemia.. (blue blood)… But like it’s more deep brown (or purplish to me, I personally see a bit of purple).. especially when I was younger.. that stuff Methelyn Blue, the “cure”.. not sure how it would work and sounds way ahead of its time, especially when it was made…also how it’s related to cyanide aslo ahead of its time… “Cyan” is Blue, so in otherwords cyannide is “Bluenide”.. but also how B12 is related to cyanide, and then how much B12 and other b complex vitamins people are taking apart from their natural diet…

    It got me thinking about chemical dependency, as well as the location dependency of your diet, and how chemical dependency can ultimately affect your chemical reliance to certain things or even people in the case of monopolizing health through said dependencies if said dependencies can be controlled.

    Second reason is my family Name, and our motto “without stain”…so I took to taking it literally, as if there was a blue family that was naturally blue without stain, and it just so happens that there was..”the Blue fugates”

    To me most of the research done on this family and their blood condition seems to be ignorant and looks at the family as if there is a condition where their blood was not able to carry as much oxygen efficiently..

    The thing about that is I have the blue blood condition and my blood happens to carry 110% of the normal amount of oxygen per blood capita, ultimately suggesting that the science behind the blood condition is wrong, otherwise my blood oxygen level would be sitting at 75 to 80 at a minimum, any lower is definitely not optimal.

    It is also accounted for in Mythos all over the Eastern side of the world, blue skinned characters include Osiris, Loki, Shiva, Hades.. to me this suggests that blue people did exist based on they are accounted for by several different people, most of the stories seem to be overembellished and dissimilar in so many ways, but one thing does remain in all these ancient Mythos is that there was a blue skinned people that existed in a so-called underworld, to me this underworld was the Americas or the western side of the planet from the eastern.

    Seeing this and knowing that I put about a year investigating into these blue people learning about DNA and it’s particulars, and that this Blood condition can be isolated to Native American people, which could negate the Bering strait land crossing as to being the other way around where blue people had made their way from the Americas to both European/African and the Asiatic continents..

    India happens to have the clearest records and indications of who these people were apart from where their actual location was and they’re regards to a place known as “Agartha”, it is in the tales of a gartha that you hear of electrical trans systems as well as fiber optic capabilities…

    To me this makes sense why we would live in a Romanesque empire that worships which seems to be an alternative history, and keeps this alternative history of blue people and the Free World from us in order to keep us all a slaves…

    I don’t really believe in aliens but I think that there is still an advanced race of humans that do have blue skin and perhaps even pink skins too.. who are in hiding currently due to a genocide of their people and you know unwary set of human beings who are set to kill anything they don’t understand.

    Reply

FAQs

What causes people to turn blue? ›

People whose blood is low in oxygen tend to have a bluish color to their skin. This condition is called cyanosis. Depending on the cause, cyanosis may develop suddenly, along with shortness of breath and other symptoms. Cyanosis that is caused by long-term heart or lung problems may develop slowly.

Where do the blue people live in Kentucky? ›

Fugate Family: The Blue People of Kentucky

They settled in Troublesome Creek, Kentucky. Unbeknownst to the couple, they were coincidentally both carriers of a recessive gene (met-H) that caused methemoglobinemia, which can tint the skin of sufferers blue.

Is Troublesome Creek a real place? ›

Troublesome Creek is a creek in Breathitt, Perry and Knott counties, Kentucky. The surrounding watershed is also named for it. The creek joins the North Fork Kentucky River downstream near the unincorporated community of Haddix.

How long is Troublesome Creek Kentucky? ›

The chapter takes its name from the stream that enters into the North Fork of the Kentucky River and runs some 99 miles in length, through Hindman and Knott County, to its source near the Floyd County line.

What color is your blood inside your body? ›

It's red because of the red blood cells (hemoglobin). Blood does change color somewhat as oxygen is absorbed and replenished. But it doesn't change from red to blue. It changes from red to dark red.

What was the cure for methemoglobinemia? ›

Management and Treatment

People with Type 1 methemoglobinemia or Hemoglobin M disease may not need treatment. If they do, healthcare providers may use the following medications to reduce methemoglobin levels: Methylene blue: The medication is a well-known antidote for methemoglobinemia. Vitamins C and B2.

What is blue skin called? ›

Cyanosis is where your skin or lips turn blue. It can be a sign of a serious problem.

Is Kentucky blue a real color? ›

Kentucky Blue is a midtone, shaded, emerald aqua-green with a hint of blue undertone. It is a perfect paint color for a kitchen. Pair it with ocean coral and pink accents.

Why is it called Kentucky blue? ›

The name Kentucky bluegrass derives from its flower heads, which are blue when the plant is allowed to grow to its natural height of 60 to 90 cm (2 to 3 feet). Poa pratensis is the type species of the grass family Poaceae.

Is The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek true? ›

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a 2019 novel by Kim Michele Richardson. The story is a fictionalized account of real subjects in the history of eastern Kentucky.

What is the controversy about The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek? ›

The controversy revolves around possible plagiarism on Jojo Moyes part, asserting that parts of The Giver of Stars are too similar to The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek to be a coincidence.

What is the woman of Troublesome Creek about? ›

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can carry us anywhere—even back home.

Where is the Kentucky Flood 2022? ›

More than 100 bridges were damaged or destroyed including at least 50 in Perry County, 50 to 70 in Knott County and dozens in Breathitt County. Roads were blocked by debris or washed away, as were single-family roads/driveways. Six weeks later, many of these remained impassable.

How did Troublesome Creek get its name? ›

It is a tributary of the Colorado River. Troublesome Creek was named for the fact soldiers had trouble crossing it.

Where was flooding in Kentucky? ›

It had been raining for two days, and everyone in Eastern Kentucky was aware of the storm. But the water rose so suddenly that our festivities quickly changed. That night, flash floods swept away entire homes and destroyed communities in Breathitt, Letcher, and Knox counties.

Is our blood originally blue? ›

Myth #1: Is my blood blue? From your skin's surface, the veins in your body may appear deep blue or even purple. But that's not an indication of the color of the blood inside your veins. Your blood is actually red.

Can a human's blood be blue? ›

Human blood contains hemoglobin, which is a complex protein molecule in red blood cells. Hemoglobin contains iron. The iron reacts with oxygen, giving blood its red color. Although veins appear blue through the skin, blood is not blue.

What color is your blood before it hits oxygen? ›

Blood is always red. Blood that has been oxygenated (mostly flowing through the arteries) is bright red and blood that has lost its oxygen (mostly flowing through the veins) is dark red. Anyone who has donated blood or had their blood drawn by a nurse can attest that deoxygenated blood is dark red and not blue.

What are the two drugs we are going to avoid if the patient has methemoglobinemia? ›

Normal levels of methemoglobin range up to 3%. Prevent methemoglobinemia by avoiding overdose of benzocaine, prilocaine, and lidocaine.

What foods can cause methemoglobinemia? ›

Oxidizing agents like nitrates and nitrites are commonly used in the food industry as a preservative for meat, fish and cheese which have been reported as a cause of methemoglobinemia and are a potential public health threat.

What drugs can cause methemoglobinemia? ›

Drugs or toxins that can cause methemoglobinemia*
  • Acetanilid.
  • Alloxan.
  • Aniline.
  • Arsine.
  • Benzene derivatives.
  • Benzocaine.
  • Bivalent copper.
  • Bismuth subnitrate.

Do lips turn blue when cold? ›

Blue lips are generally due to either a lack of oxygen in the blood or extremely cold temperatures. When the skin becomes a bluish color, the symptom is called cyanosis. Blue lips can result from a lack of oxygen in the blood.

Why do my 2 year old's lips turn blue? ›

Cyanosis refers to a bluish-purple hue to the skin. It is most easily seen where the skin is thin, such as the lips, mouth, earlobes and fingernails. Cyanosis indicates there may be decreased oxygen attached to red blood cells in the bloodstream. It may suggest a problem with the lungs or heart.

What does blue skin symbolize? ›

Then why is Lord Krishna universally depicted as someone with blue skin? Hindu religion believes in symbolisms and the blue color is a symbol of the infinite and the immeasurable.

What is the real color of blue? ›

Part of the reason is that there isn't really a true blue colour or pigment in nature and both plants and animals have to perform tricks of the light to appear blue. For plants, blue is achieved by mixing naturally occurring pigments, very much as an artist would mix colours.

Is there true blue in nature? ›

One reason is that true blue colours or pigments simply don't exist in nature, and plants and animals have to perform tricks to appear blue, according to the University of Adelaide. Take blue jays for example, which only appear blue due to the structure of their feathers, which distort the reflection of light.

What is the truest blue color? ›

The color True Blue is a deep tone of azure.

What is another name for Kentucky bluegrass? ›

Poa pratensis, commonly known as Kentucky Bluegrass or Common Meadow-grass, is a perennial species of grass.

Is Kentucky bluegrass edible? ›

Wildlife: Elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep eat Kentucky bluegrass. It is an important winter forage grass for these animals in the west. Cottontail rabbit, wild turkey, and prairie chickens consume the leaves and seeds of Kentucky bluegrass.

Why is Kentucky's blue Moon famous? ›

In 1939, The Bluegrass Boys landed a spot on the WSM Grand Ole Opry. Their performances captivated radio listeners nationwide with high singing, carefully worked out fiddle parts and Monroe's fierce, jazzy mandolin playing. Among the radio listeners who heard "Blue Moon of Kentucky" were Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.

Will The Giver of Stars become a movie? ›

Universal Pictures has acquired the movie rights to The Giver of Stars, and the feature film is in the early stages of production.
...
The Giver of Stars.
First edition
AuthorJojo Moyes
Set inKentucky
PublisherMichael Joseph
Publication date2019
10 more rows

How old is Alice in The Giver of Stars? ›

Margery: Alice's fearless role-model. At thirty-eight, she's tough-as-nails, having lived in the holler all her life. She knows the land and its people, and like all small towns where everyone knows everyone's business, the “misfortunes of families,” they know hers.

WHO is Queenie in The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek? ›

It's no surprise that one of the few people in this story to see clear to Cussy Mary's heart is her fellow pack horse librarian, Queenie. Queenie is also vilified for her blackness, but she's one of the only characters with the strength of character to seek friendship with someone unlike herself.

What happens at the end of The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek? ›

The novel ends with a letter four years later from Cussy to Queenie, explaining how Honey is now four years old, and Jackson is out of jail but cannot live in Kentucky and so together the family is looking for a new place to live.

Is the last blue a true story? ›

Book details

A luminous narrative inspired by the fascinating real case of “the Blue People of Kentucky" that probes questions of identity, love, and family.

Is The Giver of Stars based on a true story? ›

THE GIVER OF STARS is based on the true story of the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. How did you discover this piece of history? I was reading an edition of the Smithsonian Magazine online and came across an extraordinary series of pictures of women on horseback.

Is the woman with the blue star based on a true story? ›

Inspired by harrowing true stories, The Woman with the Blue Star is an emotional testament to the power of friendship and the extraordinary strength of the human will to survive.

What was the name of the troublesome boy? ›

It is 1959, and 14-year-old Teddy Clemson is sent off to St. Ignatius Academy for Boys (“St. Iggy's”) by his mother's neglectful new boyfriend.

What county is Troublesome Creek KY? ›

View the Water Data for the Nation site inventory. Monitoring location 03279000 is associated with a STREAM in BREATHITT COUNTY, KENTUCKY.

How deep are water lines buried in Kentucky? ›

The nationwide average water service line depth is 4.58 feet, but in Kentucky, water lines are nearly a foot shallower than that, at 3.75 feet.

What areas will be flooded by 2050? ›

Six parts of the USA that could be underwater by 2050
  • Louisiana seaboard.
  • Washington state.
  • Southern Florida.
  • Western Oregon.
  • The south-eastern coast.
  • Southern California.
17 Feb 2022

What is the life expectancy in Kentucky? ›

It dropped to 74 in 2020 and 72.5 in 2021.

Is Troublesome Creek a real place in Kentucky? ›

Troublesome Creek is a creek in Breathitt, Perry and Knott counties, Kentucky. The surrounding watershed is also named for it. The creek joins the North Fork Kentucky River downstream near the unincorporated community of Haddix.

How long is Troublesome Creek in KY? ›

The chapter takes its name from the stream that enters into the North Fork of the Kentucky River and runs some 99 miles in length, through Hindman and Knott County, to its source near the Floyd County line.

How old is cussy in the book Woman of Troublesome Creek? ›

In the 1930s, nineteen-year-old Cussy Carter and her father live in the isolated woods of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky.

What town was destroyed in Kentucky? ›

In Mayfield, a town of 10,000 in western Kentucky, the community as a whole was walloped by the initial shock of seeing entire stretches pulverized by the worst of the storm. Downtown remains mangled. People point to piles of debris and refer to them by what they used to be: a church, a shop, a family home.

How many homes destroyed Kentucky floods? ›

Kentucky's flooding victims face years of rebuilding efforts After record flooding at the end of July in eastern Kentucky, residents reported more than 10,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

How many people died in the Kentucky flood? ›

Kentucky Flood Death History
Kentucky Deaths: 7 | U.S. Deaths: 92 *
Outside (OU)0
Already In Water (IW)1
Other (OT)0
* U.S. Death Count is preliminary
4 more rows

What is it called when a person turns blue? ›

Cyanosis is the medical term for a bluish color of the skin and the mucous membranes due to an insufficient level of oxygen in the blood.

How long does it take for a human to turn blue? ›

When does livor mortis set in? Livor mortis begins appearing as dull red patches after 20 to 30 minutes from the time of death. Over the next 2 to 4 hours, the patches come together to form larger areas of bluish-purple discoloration.

What is the meaning of turn blue? ›

: to turn blue from being cold or not breathing. The baby stopped breathing and went blue.

What are signs of cyanosis? ›

Cyanosis is a bluish color in the skin, lips, and nail beds caused by a shortage of oxygen in the blood. Cyanosis occurs because blood with low levels of oxygen turns blue or purple. This low-oxygen blood causes a blue-purple tint to the skin.

What does it mean if your lips are purple? ›

Blue skin and lips is usually caused by low blood oxygen levels or poor circulation. It can be a sign of a serious problem. Call 999 or go to your nearest emergency department immediately if you notice an adult or child suddenly turning blue.

How soon after death do you go to heaven? ›

We enter heaven immediately upon our death, or our souls sleep until the second coming of Christ and the accompanying resurrection. Most have chosen to believe what the Bible appears to overwhelmingly propose: our souls (spirits) penetrate heaven immediately after we take our final breath.

What happens the last few minutes before death? ›

In time, the heart stops and they stop breathing. Within a few minutes, their brain stops functioning entirely and their skin starts to cool. At this point, they have died.

When someone is dying what do they see? ›

Visual or auditory hallucinations are often part of the dying experience. The appearance of family members or loved ones who have died is common. These visions are considered normal. The dying may turn their focus to “another world” and talk to people or see things that others do not see.

What does turn out of the blue mean? ›

idiom. C1. If something happens out of the blue, it is completely unexpected: One day, out of the blue, she announced that she was leaving. Not expected or planned.

What does it mean to be someone's blue person? ›

If you call someone true blue, you mean you can depend on her completely. A true blue friend is loyal and trustworthy. A friend like that is extremely valuable. You might even say that someone who is true blue is worth her weight in gold. But that would be mixing idioms!

What does it mean to turn someone black and blue? ›

or to beat someone black and blue. phrase. If you say that someone is black and blue, you mean that they are badly bruised.

Why does my skin turn purple when cold? ›

When a person has Raynaud's phenomenon, exposure to cold abnormally reduces blood circulation, causing the skin to become pale, waxy-white or purple. The disorder is sometimes called "white finger", "wax finger" or "dead finger." Raynaud's phenomenon has many different causes including workplace exposures.

Why do old people's hands turn purple? ›

Cyanosis occurs when there's too little oxygen in the blood. Oxygen-rich blood is deep red and causes your skin's normal color. Under-oxygenated blood is bluer and causes your skin to look bluish purple.

What drugs cause cyanosis? ›

Most cases are acquired and are primarily due to exposure to cer- tain drugs and chemicals, such as nitrates, nitrites, quinones, and chlorates.

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Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated: 01/19/2023

Views: 5971

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

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Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.