When teenager Hanan walked into the Emergency Room at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, the staff were taken aback when they saw a red light literally blinking under the skin of his wrist every few seconds.
There are only a few cases recorded worldwide of this medical condition, known as Quincke’s sign, reports Hadassah orthopedic hand surgeon Dr. Shai Luria. He explains that the patient had treated himself with topical antibiotics and steroids after receiving a second-degree burn. He developed contact dermatitis, followed by cellulitis. “A simple burn and rash had turned Hanan’s pulse into this light form,” Dr. Luria relates. Antibiotics, normally used to treat cellulitis, solved the problem.
Reporting on this case in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Dr. Luria and his Hadassah colleagues relate that the “blinking effect” is the result of the person’s dilated blood vessels pulsating in an inflamed area under the skin.
Photo caption: Hadassah Mount Scopus ER, trauma and shock unit.