Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Intern Med. 2001 Feb 12;161(3):461-5.

Impact of color blindness on recognition of blood in body fluids.

Author information

1
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Color blindness is a common hereditary X-linked disorder.

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate whether color blindness affects the ability to detect the presence of blood in body fluids.

METHODS:

Ten color-blind subjects and 20 sex- and age-matched control subjects were shown 94 photographs of stool, urine, or sputum. Frank blood was present in 57 (61%) of the photographs. Surveys were done to determine if board-certified internists had ever considered whether color blindness would affect detection of blood and whether an inquiry on color blindness was included in their standard medical interview.

RESULTS:

Color-blind subjects were significantly less able to identify correctly whether pictures of body fluids showed blood compared with non-color-blind controls (P =.001); the lowest rate of correct identifications occurred with pictures of stool (median of 26 [70%] of 37 for color-blind subjects vs 36.5 [99%] of 37 for controls; P<.001). The more severely color-blind subjects were significantly less accurate than those with less severe color deficiency (P =.009). Only 2 (10%) of the 21 physicians had ever considered the possibility that color blindness might affect the ability of patients to detect blood, and none routinely asked their patients about color blindness.

CONCLUSIONS:

Color blindness impairs recognition of blood in body fluids. Color-blind individuals and their health care providers need to be made aware of this limitation.

PMID:
11176773
DOI:
10.1001/archinte.161.3.461
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center