#1
Old 03-10-2011, 05:27 AM
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Do you know the smell of fresh blood?

I'm not going to go TMI on this, I'm just going to say that I have had reason in my life to come to know the smell of fresh blood. (not menstrual). It's very distinctive, and it definitely has an iron component.

Can you recognize it?
#2
Old 03-10-2011, 06:03 AM
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Yes, absolutely.

And menstrual fluid is only about half blood, so it doesn't smell like real blood.
#3
Old 03-10-2011, 06:05 AM
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I don't. I've been exposed to blood, but not enough to identify a specific smell.
#4
Old 03-10-2011, 06:12 AM
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Oh yes, when I left school at 16 I worked in a local butchers and bakers. They has their own abattoir and I helped with all sorts of jobs, including collecting the pigs blood to make black pudding.

No, it hasn't put me off.
#5
Old 03-10-2011, 06:36 AM
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Yup. I've smelled blood from surgery as well as blood from injuries. Hemorrhagic diarrhea from fulminant colitis is the worst - it is the smell of gut dying and sloughing, a mix of diarrhea + death + blood.
#6
Old 03-10-2011, 06:55 AM
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Yes, I've cut my hands enough times.
#7
Old 03-10-2011, 08:21 AM
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Very familiar. To me, it smells like copper or pennies.

I also smell a lot of amniotic fluid. To me, it often smells of straw or hay or ocean.

Last edited by Ca3799; 03-10-2011 at 08:21 AM.
#8
Old 03-10-2011, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Ca3799 View Post
Very familiar. To me, it smells like copper or pennies.
Beat me to it. Smells like old pennies.
#9
Old 03-10-2011, 09:17 AM
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Yup. Smells like... Victory.
#10
Old 03-10-2011, 09:31 AM
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Another vote for pennies - my mother was very easily squicked out, so with two little brothers, a father who hunted regularly, and myself as a tomboy, I got very used to blood, feel, sight, and smell.

I can't exactly say that I LIKE it, but it's a comfortable familiar thing to me.

It also smells like hot pennies to me.
#11
Old 03-10-2011, 09:33 AM
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Yes. It smells like work to me.
#12
Old 03-10-2011, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by VunderBob View Post
Yes. It smells like work to me.
+1
#13
Old 03-10-2011, 08:34 PM
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Yes. Very tinny.
#14
Old 03-10-2011, 08:41 PM
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I'm rather curious about someone who's never smelled blood before. Everybody poops and bleeds. I taste my own blood like 5+ times a year. The last time was like a week ago when I flossed my teeth too hard.
#15
Old 03-10-2011, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Superhal View Post
I'm rather curious about someone who's never smelled blood before. Everybody poops and bleeds. I taste my own blood like 5+ times a year. The last time was like a week ago when I flossed my teeth too hard.
Unless you get in real close to the wound, or it's bleeding a lot, you probably won't smell much. Heck, even a nosebleed doesn't smell like blood as much as a large, gushing wound does. It's probably the difference between arterial and venous blood.

To answer the OP, yes...I volunteered with a fire department a few years ago that also handled EMT calls, Although I wasn't an EMT, I went along to help, and there were a few large traumas.

I'm actually more familiar with the smell of not-so-fresh/rotting blood. In my line of work, I sometimes have to repair a machine in the operating room that cleans out suction canisters. It empties out all the clotted, rotted, nasty blood and other fluids from the canisters, and then clean and sanitizers them. It frequently breaks down, including getting clogged, and I have to fix it (and unclog it.) It's nasty.
#16
Old 03-10-2011, 10:36 PM
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Yes, I work in a veterinary hospital. Hit by cars, dog bites, lacerations and the like tend to bleed a lot.

I also know the smell of a maggoty wound when it walks in the building. I usually hope someone else will get stuck with it but, alas, that is not always the case.
#17
Old 03-10-2011, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by horsetech View Post
Yup. I've smelled blood from surgery as well as blood from injuries. Hemorrhagic diarrhea from fulminant colitis is the worst - it is the smell of gut dying and sloughing, a mix of diarrhea + death + blood.
I took a second job in a chronic care hosptial/interm care unit after I had been an RN for about six months. My first night by myself after orientation I did room checks and looked at one patient... something didn't look right... one step further...something sure as heck didn't SMELL right. He had bled out and died, had a not yet identified blood dyscrasia (the intenist/hematology team was coming to see him the very next morning). The smell, and the colour.. (charred beet puree is the best discription I have) have never been forgotten.

Any kind of melena really reeks.

But I agree with regular blood smelling like warm pennies with a meaty undertone.
#18
Old 03-10-2011, 11:11 PM
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I've done CPR on a person with a crushed skull. Had several other instances in which I smelled blood.
#19
Old 03-10-2011, 11:30 PM
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Yes, I know the smell and the oddly slippery, greasy sort of feel of it. blech.
#20
Old 03-11-2011, 01:23 AM
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Yep. I can't smell it from a simple cut thought. Many eons ago, I broke a glass while washing dishes. The sharp edge sliced my wrist open. There was a lot of blood. Luckily we lived about a 5 minute walk from the hospital (I think my mother did that on purpose, what with me being such a klutz and all).

I like the smell of blood. Smells coppery.
#21
Old 03-11-2011, 01:34 AM
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It smells (and tastes) a lot like copper.

Honestly, though, how many people don't know what blood smells and tastes like? We all get injured, right? We all lost teeth as children, I'm sure. A whole lot of us have to deal with injured people and animals, if only on an informal basis.

Anyway, the interesting thing is noticing when other things smell and taste like blood. The last time that happened to me was when I handled a really coppery rock. One whiff and I immediately thought of blood.
#22
Old 03-11-2011, 12:45 PM
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Do we have a lot of copper in our blood, if any? Or is that smell we identify with pennies and copper actually iron?
#23
Old 03-11-2011, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by horsetech View Post
Hemorrhagic diarrhea from fulminant colitis is the worst
I thought you could only smell that at the Hotel California.
#24
Old 03-11-2011, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
I thought you could only smell that at the Hotel California.
Ok, now that's funny!

I remember when my brother wrecked his motorcycle. There was a lot of blood on hot pavement. I swear I could smell the alcohol evaporating out of it. I'll never forget it.
#25
Old 03-11-2011, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Stoid View Post
Do we have a lot of copper in our blood, if any? Or is that smell we identify with pennies and copper actually iron?
Human blood contains very little copper. Our oxygen transport works based on iron, part of the hemoglobin molecule, which goes from dark red to light red in the presence of oxygen. If we were horseshoe crabs, say, or vampire squid, we'd have hemocyanin, which is both based on copper and is undeniably blue (as opposed to just looking blue in our veins through our skin based on how light bends).

I don't know how that adds up to human blood smelling and tasting so much like copper.
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#26
Old 03-11-2011, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoid View Post
Do we have a lot of copper in our blood, if any? Or is that smell we identify with pennies and copper actually iron?
There is a copper containing compound in our blood, called ceruloplasmin. It doesn't contain a whole lot of copper, but yes, we use copper in our blood.

But I'm pretty sure pennies don't contain a whole lot of copper anymore, do they? This has always puzzled me. Why does blood smell/taste like pennies, specifically? Not like nickles (which also contain copper) or quarters or a wrought iron fence (which would make sense if it was the iron in the hemoglobin we're smelling) ...but pennies. WTF?
#27
Old 03-11-2011, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by horsetech View Post
Yup. I've smelled blood from surgery as well as blood from injuries. Hemorrhagic diarrhea from fulminant colitis is the worst - it is the smell of gut dying and sloughing, a mix of diarrhea + death + blood.
Gangrenous bowel is worse than that, IMHO. Necrotic bowel is nasty, but necrotic bowel plus gangrene transcends feces + death + blood.
#28
Old 03-11-2011, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
There is a copper containing compound in our blood, called ceruloplasmin. It doesn't contain a whole lot of copper, but yes, we use copper in our blood.

But I'm pretty sure pennies don't contain a whole lot of copper anymore, do they? This has always puzzled me. Why does blood smell/taste like pennies, specifically? Not like nickles (which also contain copper) or quarters or a wrought iron fence (which would make sense if it was the iron in the hemoglobin we're smelling) ...but pennies. WTF?
So, then, what does Vulcan blood smell like? Rusty nails?
#29
Old 03-11-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Gangrenous bowel is worse than that, IMHO. Necrotic bowel is nasty, but necrotic bowel plus gangrene transcends feces + death + blood.
You win.

For me, nothing like a splenectomy on a 150+ pound dog to get real familiar with the smell of blood.
#30
Old 03-11-2011, 07:32 PM
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I guess I haven't spent enough time in colic surgeries; I've seen a couple cases with purple to black gut, but it still didn't smell as bad IMO as the ones with raging Clostridium infections which were coating the walls with the smell of bloody death. It may have to do with proximity and ventilation in the surgery suite (very airy) vs isolation stalls (which tend to get stuffy and warm sometimes). YMMV, but I'll take your word for it on the gangrene. I'll take horses over people with rotting diabetic feet any day, though.

Last edited by horsetech; 03-11-2011 at 07:32 PM.
#31
Old 03-12-2011, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by user_hostile View Post
So, then, what does Vulcan blood smell like? Rusty nails?
Couldn't say. I'm not particularly fond of Scotch, nor liqueurs. I lean more toward Rum or Vodka.
#32
Old 03-12-2011, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Stoid View Post
I'm not going to go TMI on this, I'm just going to say that I have had reason in my life to come to know the smell of fresh blood. (not menstrual). It's very distinctive, and it definitely has an iron component.

Can you recognize it?
I've noticed that certain smells are never forgotten. Years later, when you smell it, it's instantly recognizable, and not intellectually, but almost like a shift in time, revisit to the first moment. And some smells are so distinctive that they're not confused with anything else.
#33
Old 03-12-2011, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Gangrenous bowel is worse than that, IMHO. Necrotic bowel is nasty, but necrotic bowel plus gangrene transcends feces + death + blood.
Do you know of any medical students who had to bail because they couldn't stop barfing at the vile effluvia that accompanies so much illness? It's a serious question: we all know about the cliche of people who faint at the sight of blood, but what about the people who hurl at the scent of pus?

And I really wish there was a less gakky word for pus...I have a visceral response to language and I need a euphemism...

Last edited by Stoid; 03-12-2011 at 04:05 PM.
#34
Old 03-12-2011, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Stoid View Post
And I really wish there was a less gakky word for pus...I have a visceral response to language and I need a euphemism...
"Purulent discharge."

What I'd like is an adjectival form of the word pus that can be used in writing without looking like the slang term for a female body part. Fill in the blank: The infected wound was swollen and _______. Works in speech, never in writing.
#35
Old 03-12-2011, 05:26 PM
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This thread made me order up a rare steak from room service...they asked how did I want it done...still mooing, said I.

Mmmm, fresh, bloody steak...'I used to weep in butchers' shops as a boy,' said Uncle Monty.

Last edited by Ms Boods; 03-12-2011 at 05:27 PM. Reason: annoying netbook shift key
#36
Old 03-12-2011, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc Xenos View Post
Couldn't say. I'm not particularly fond of Scotch, nor liqueurs. I lean more toward Rum or Vodka.
Fascinating!
#37
Old 03-12-2011, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
"Purulent discharge."

What I'd like is an adjectival form of the word pus that can be used in writing without looking like the slang term for a female body part. Fill in the blank: The infected wound was swollen and _______. Works in speech, never in writing.
Suppurative or purulent? Haven't heard a professional use pus-sy except as a joke, just clients. Merriam-Webster on the use of purulent:
Quote:
1: containing, consisting of, or being pus <a purulent discharge>
2: accompanied by suppuration
And suppurate = to form or discharge pus.
#38
Old 03-12-2011, 06:49 PM
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Oooh, suppurative is a superlative choice!

I ran into the pus-sy problem in charting. My teacher wanted direct quotes (also known in nursing as "subjective data"), and the patient described her wound as, well...y'know. I was at a loss as to how to chart it accurately.
#39
Old 03-12-2011, 07:44 PM
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Just before I found my present job, I spent some time running the tongue saw in a slaughter house.
#40
Old 03-12-2011, 08:19 PM
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Fresh human blood, ah yes, I know the smell; a moist rusty scent, not too disagreeable.
Unfortunately I also know the smell of rotten human blood, it's probably the most vile stench I've ever encountered; I shouldn't wonder if there's a genetic or evolutionary element to that.
#41
Old 03-12-2011, 08:26 PM
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Yep. First thing that came to mind was 'iron'. Gonna read your OP now, instead of subject.

ETA: Iron. Whatya know.

Last edited by Philster; 03-12-2011 at 08:27 PM.
#42
Old 03-14-2011, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Do you know of any medical students who had to bail because they couldn't stop barfing at the vile effluvia that accompanies so much illness? It's a serious question: we all know about the cliche of people who faint at the sight of blood, but what about the people who hurl at the scent of pus?
When I went through anatomy lab, I was actually worried about that happening to me. You do a lot of nasty stuff when you are dissecting a human body, but fortunately I never threw up. I gagged and wretched a few times though. Once when we split the penis, and another time when we chopped a leg off. I also remember grimly appreciating the mortality of man when we cut the head in half to examine the cavernous sinuses.

I couldn't eat steak for quite a while after anatomy lab. Sinew reminded me of the aponeuroses.
#43
Old 12-15-2011, 12:40 AM
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My mom and sisters say they can smell blood from across a room. Even when I am having a snuffy nose day they can tell just by being near me. Is there a correlation between the two? My dad and I cannot smell blood at all even when cleaning deer or our own personal injuries.
#44
Old 12-15-2011, 01:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Superhal View Post
I'm rather curious about someone who's never smelled blood before. Everybody poops and bleeds. I taste my own blood like 5+ times a year. The last time was like a week ago when I flossed my teeth too hard.
I've tasted it from biting or cutting my lip but I didn't think it had an odor. I don't think I've ever come into contact with enough blood that I smelled anything...
#45
Old 12-15-2011, 03:18 AM
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To me it smells the same (or has a similar component) as when somebody's eating Corn Nuts.
#46
Old 12-15-2011, 08:05 AM
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If anything smells WORSE than a fully rotten explosive rancid water melon, it doesn't matter. 3people, including myself puked. Worse one of my coworkers got it in her FACE! It was the worst smell ever. Nothing has ever come close.
#47
Old 12-15-2011, 09:13 AM
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GI graft vs host is worst of all, but, since that also contains feces, and tissue, maybe it doesn't count.
Blood from different systems smells different. Large amounts of fresh, uncontaminated blood does smell like pennies. It isn't exactly unpleasant, but anxiety producing, at least, for me.
As Bobbio said, it smells like work. The smell produces a rush of catacholomines in healthcare providers.
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