Chest 97; The octopus tree

28 Nov
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Chest 97; The octopus tree

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The lungs of this X-ray were left pretty much intact and the effects of diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC) can still be seen causing fluffy shadows throughout both lungs. The person is being ventilated following a massive infection which caused tiny blood clots to form throughout the blood vessels of the body. These block small capillaries in vital organs such as the kidneys, liver heart, and lungs causing them to stop functioning. Depending on the type of treatment DIC has a 40-50% chance of never recovering. It is a devastating condition. I have at least one friend who died of DIC.

The paired images are taken after the cyclone Yasi swept through our region. Red flower fronds blown down during the storm lying on grass reflect the tiny blood clots. These are from an Umbrella tree (sometimes known as an octopus tree because of the flower bracts) and the overall chaotic nature of this picture echo both the effect of Yasi and effect of this condition as coagulation runs amuck through the body. A friend said the combination of red streak running to the right and the fronds reminded him of a dragon, so I included the beautiful cyclone-like swirls above and sinuous lines below taken from an antique Chinese ceramic pot with a dragon.

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2 Responses to “Chest 97; The octopus tree”

  1. leecleland November 28, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Loved the image even before I read the post, those swirls really add to the chaos.

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