The challenge this week is the word BLUE also known as Cyan.
Cyan, as in cyanosis in a man with severe emphysema. Fortunately this condition is less frequent than in previous years as society becomes more aware of its causes. Due to years of exposure to pollution, smoking, often associated with industrial exposure to respiratory toxins, this occurs often in people genetically disposed to pulmonary disease. The lung tissue at the ends of the small bronchi deteriorates to the point where there is too little surface area for efficient oxygen exchange. These people are sitting ducks for infection, (I know… pardon the pun). When infection comes, gas exchange area is reduced by the oedema and mucus formation. Exacerbation of recurrent infections damages the lungs further until the person is pushed into respiratory failure.
Working for a while as a trainee respiratory physician in Britain it was common to admit patients, usually men, in deep cyanosis, grey-blue, with big blood-vessels over their faces and necks, desperately trying to breathe, forcing air out of their chests through pursed lips making a sort of whistling sound. For this reason I have centred my picture around two whistling ducks.
The image is made up of the ducks with their knowing eye, and duckweed on a pond. The X-ray features a man with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.