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The bleeder
  1. Lisa Lemieux
  1. Correspondence toDr Lisa Lemieux, Hospital Pediatrics, Alberta Children's Hospital, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta T3B6A8, Canada; lisa.lemieux{at}

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Red inky words scrawled aggressively across the paper,

he's looking over my shoulder thinking don't worry

blood's not red it's blue/purple except air oxidises it just so fast that

our imperfect eyes don't see

I reply you're scientifically right I'm sure but it's pretty red

when you've severed an artery accidentally and it's pump pump pumping away

reach in, find the bleeder, hold it down tie it off use cautery make it stop stop stop

I don't believe for several long seconds that I can do it and I'm terrified

but I'll tell you this man looking over my shoulder

hope also turns red when it hits the air.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.