A lovely shade of green

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    Here's one for you all. Has this ever happened to any of you.
    When working in a hospital, it was common practice to put green food coloring in the tube feeding solution of our tube fed patients. This was done so that we could tell if they were aspirating. I had a patient expire one time that had been on the green tube feedings. Minutes after her death, she began to turn a lovely shade of green. I am not kidding about this. The family was very upset when they went in to view the body. They returned after the funeral to tell us that the undertaker had a terrible time preparing the body because of this. We later found out that a couple of other people had the same response with their death. We switched brands of food coloring and it stopped. I must say that in 12 years of hospital nursing, this was one of the most shocking experiences that I ever had. Course now, I think that is was pretty funny. Not from the families perspective, but from my shock and dismay.
    Betsy
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I had a patient do the same thing, lime green at death. On tube feeding prior, one of the docs said he thought it was a staph infection...I always thought the color was eerily close to the tube feeding.
  4. 0
    Wow. Our peg tubing sets have a color pellet already in it from the manufacturer. I've not had a patient die while receiving tube feeds, so I don't know if those cause the same unfortunate effect or not.
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    we switched to the preloaded pellet type and that stopped it. And by the way, our hospital did look into it and it was caused by the dye. Something about the body not breaking down the coloring after death. wow was it an awesome shade of green
  6. 0
    We used to use Methalyne Blue...
  7. 0
    Originally posted by KaraLea
    We used to use Methalyne Blue...
    Wow! Methalyne blue, huh? Well......if any of you are blessed enough to be my nurse if I ever am hospitalized where you work, and I need to be on tube feeding......PLEEZZZ die me BLUE! Ummmmm...it's my favorite color! :kiss
  8. 0
    We used the blue too...didn't turn the pts colors, but it sure turned their poop a lovely shade of green! Always loved creamed spinach night...
  9. 0
    I guess almost everything turned green. For those of you that have never seen the after death experience, you don't know what you missed. It only took minutes before the color change started. Lime green skin. wow I am telling you I was shocked. I went out to the desk to get co workers to check because I thought I was seeing things. And then I had to tell the family that there loved one was green and don't be shocked. Yea right.


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