hair color and anesthesia, no kidding

  1. 0
    Ok, have any of you students or practitioners heard (or seen?) this one?
    Supposedly, according to a study (only 20 women, hardly merits the term "study" IMHO) at the University of Louisville, "red hair is the first known visible genetic trait that indicates how much anesthesia a person needs." The redheads needed about 20% more anesthetic than brunettes...supposedly "because of a genetic variation that produces red pigment also triggers higher levels of the hormone that increases pain sensitivity....."
    Now, I know we "reds" are histamine releasers, and bleeders....but come on!

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  2. 11 Comments...

  3. 0
    yes..have heard this..

    melinda, a blonde
  4. 0
    I've heard it too. I don't know about histamine releasing - I've spent HOURS with my head stuck in a spreadsheet and my eyeballs are rattling around like marbles. I definitely am a "free bleeder" didn't know it had anything to do with redhairishness.

    I don't know if the study is valuable, either. I think I have a rather above-average pain tolerance. JMHO

    Well, I do put a brown rinse on my hair to tone down the red - perhumps it also affects the other traits. LOL (no, I know that's not true - I'm not quiteTHAT rattled. )


  5. 0
    I'd like to see this study. I'm a redhead and I've always needed more anesthetic at the dentist. I always just figured I was a wuss!
  6. 0
    Hmmmmm I wonder how much for blue and red hair? and a little brown and blonde . . . . I have got a little of everything . . . Its all natural BTW.
  7. 0
    Originally posted by NancyRN
    I'd like to see this study. I'm a redhead and I've always needed more anesthetic at the dentist. I always just figured I was a wuss!
    Wow...this is kinda freaky...The dentist usually ends up doing nerve blocks to get me numb enough to do any major work...and while I prefer to call my natural color strawberry blond it is *sigh* in carrot. I tone it down to a goldeny blond. And my name is Nancy...and I'm an RN.
  8. 0
    Red hair phenotype

    Is the link to the first thread on this.

    I would have to say that this is a study that will need to proove itself more. Without a biggerr N, it rests in the realm of cold fusion and Anecdotal medicine.

  9. 0
    well, sometimes, that anecdotal medicine has some value; I've never seen any studies that "prove" the histamine thing, but I've seen it happen enough that I believe it, enough so that I prepare for it, anyway (but maybe hives, etc, just show up more easily on fair skin?) and when I myself tried to bleed out after a normal non-complicated delivery, I decided to believe the bleeding part, too. But the pain thing...hadn't heard of or seen that. And yes, it's a darn small N to draw much of a conclusion from, other than "may merit more study." Oh, and NurseDennie, I suggested to the OB nurse that I'd color my hair before any future deliveries, and she wasn't amused......Go figure. Ok. Back to more serious work/topics!
  10. 0
    Originally posted by BRobison
    well, sometimes, that anecdotal medicine has some value
    Ditto. We consider it a valuable piece of information not to be left out if the patient happens to be a redhead.

    Never heard of the anesthesia thing though.

  11. 0
    Yes, yes, yes!! Again, just anecdotal, but on the colo-rectal ward I worked on, we ALWAYS got extra analgesia written up for the redheads - just in case. And often ended up using it too. Our regular surgeons used to just laugh, but they still took our word for it & ended up doing what we asked. And we were always prepared for a bleed post-op - again, they usually didn't disappoint us.

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