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The Toxic Lady

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posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 02:55 AM
I was living in southern California and remember this strange case and I thought it ATS worthy. In 1994 a 31 year old lady by the name of Gloria Ramirez showed up at General Hospital emergency, she had advanced cervical cancer and came to the ER with pulmonary and respiratory problems. She passed out and never regained consciousness.

The problems started when a nurse drew some blood from Ramirez, the nurse noticed that the blood had manila-colored crystals floating in the blood and that the blood smelled like ammonia. While the ER frantically tried to reverse Ramirez's deteriorating condition some of the staff started getting sick with symptoms of dizziness. fainting, sensation of burning on the skin, nausea, apnea, tremors, even paralysis.

Ramirez died and they moved her body to an isolated room and those that attended her there also fell ill. The hospital then evacuated the ER to the parking lot, in all 23 people became ill.

Five were hospitalized. One nurse was kept in the hospital for ten days with tremors and apnea. The most seriously ill, a doctor in residence named Julie Gorchynski, stayed in intensive care for two weeks, contracting apnea, hepatitis, pancreatitis, and necrosis of the bone marrow which crippled her legs for months and required at least three surgeries.

The Riverside County hazardous materials team was called in and they searched the ER but came up empty handed finding no sign of a hazardous toxin that could have caused so many to become ill. Next it was the coroner's turn. With the Coroner and pathologist's suited up in air tight suits and respirators, they too found nothing that would have knocked out the hospital staff or been harmful. It was noted that she died from cervical cancer.

it couldn't be found with any certainty. Many investigations led to dead ends. And in September 1994, nearly seven months after the toxic lady felled the medical staff, the health department released its official report. Ramirez died from cervical cancer, and nothing else. The emergency room victims were found to be free of any explicable medical causes, and were determined to have suffered from a mass sociogenic illness, triggered by a frightening odor of unknown origin.

The only thing I can add to this story is that it was rumored that Gloria Ramirez may have went to mexico in search of a treatment for her cervical cancer, a highly experimental treatment that is not legal in the united states. I have a difficult time with the theory that this was a case of mass sociogenic.

toxic lady

edit on 8/18/13 by shells4u because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 03:22 AM
Reminds me of the story of homer escaping the orphanage. Oh... I forget the story.

posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 03:47 AM
No. I totally agree....nothing sociogenic, going on here. Ammonia crystals in her blood? I think that may be key here, and after it was first mentioned in your sourcing, it somehow never came up again. Ammonia hydrate is highly toxic to anything living.....

ETA: Perhaps upon dying, the ammonia was converted to its gaseous form from the crystals in her blood, due to the natural decaying process, and therefore, the toxicity. Coroners suited up would have been protected, and the gaseous emmitance would have ended at a certain point after death, after all.

Perhaps. I'm no scientist, after all. Pure speculation.


posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 10:53 AM
reply to post by tetra50
After the coroner couldn't find the cause they enlisted help from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in northern California. In their findings they concluded that Ramirez had used a topical gel for pain called
DMSO it's sold as a gel in hardware stores as a powerful degreaser, and it's also used by athletes to rub onto sore muscles. In fact, many people put it on their skin to relieve pain from conditions like arthritis. It's not really great for you, but people do it anyway. DMSO also caught the attention of the Livermore researchers because it would explain the greasy appearance of Ramirez' torso and the garlic-like odor.

When the paramedics gave Ramirez oxygen in the ambulance the high oxygen concentration in her blood would have combined with the DMSO they theorize she had self-administered to relieve pain from her cancer, and formed the dimethyl sulfone observed in the spectrometer results. Then when the nurse took a blood sample the blood cooled inside the syringe it would have formed white crystals.

The problem is that dimethyl sulfone wouldn't have hurt anyone.

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 01:08 PM
Just some more info to add to your's about DMSO. It's sold as a solvent in hardware stores, and also used frequently on horses with leg, ligament, tendon injuries, usually mixed with some kind of steroid and other meds. The reason the DMSO is important is primarily because of it's delivery properties, as it sinks through the skin, into the tissue beneath the sub and cutaneous layers, delivering whatever meds it's mixed with directly to the injury site and into the bloodstream through osmosis.

I've used it a lot in this way on horses with injuries, though all horse folks have their own recipes, and don't share them too often, except with each other.... Anyway, my point in general, is that it's usually mixed with something else and just used for it's osmotic delivery properties, and I've never known it to smell like garlic. It's fairly odorless, and you are wouldn't become toxic except in large quantities. And even then.....for instance, they give it intraveneously to horses who are laminitic, in an effort to stop destruction of the lamina between hoof tissue, keeping the bone underneath in place to slow the possibility of founder, rotation of the bone of the hoof from the hoof itself. It may also help slow the dumping of exotoxins into the bloodstream which is what the metabolic basis of laminitis in horses is.

Sorry about all the horse info......just trying to give the support that you are, indeed, correct. It would take a lot of DMSO, probably intraveneously over quite some time to do damage, and that would only be to the person or animal using it, and the damage would likely be to the kidneys.

The "toxicity" was obviously coming from something else, and not yet idenitified......

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 01:25 PM
WOW, One never knows what they are being sold at stores. One mistake with mixing one chemical with another. Pain cream and Oxygen, damn. Talk about having a really bad luck, Cancer then this. There has been a study that cancer has links to electricty. And its not totally out of the question

posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 08:52 PM
I remember that was a strange one...

My hunch is that she was trying some unorthodox treatment, which polluted her body.... but didn't kill the cancer...

You might want to put a link to your thread into this thread: Crazy Reported News That Was Quickly Dropped & Never Heard Of Again...

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 11:24 PM
I find the whole "sociogenic" explanation to be full of holes as well. For starters, this is a hospital these people worked in. The smell of ammonia would be a common smell, as it is a widely used cleaner and disinfectant in institutions such as hospitals, as well as a common "smelling salt" to revive unconscious people. Not to mention it also is present in old or decomposing urine, another common substance in a hospital. So the smell of ammonia would not be something alarming or unusual to hospital staff, they would be used to the smell, it would not set off some sort of panic. Plus, I find the whole mass hallucination explanation to be a lazy, convenient way for people to explain away things that are out of the norm, without having to really do serious investigation.

It would be very interesting to find out what sort of treatment the Toxic Lady underwent in Mexico, because down there, there is a lot of questionable treatments that are widely available, such as gold salts. Gold salts can be pretty toxic to a person. I wonder if that was responsible for the strange manilla colored crystals noticed by the staff? Perhaps the degreasing lineament she used reacted with the substance, causing these to appear? Of course, there would be some sort of trace left of it, I think, as gold is not very reactive, nor is it volatile.

I do remember this story, and yeah, it's definitely a weird one.

posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 11:52 PM
Hmmm.....upon reading the article again, I found a few things of interest.

One of them was the fact that due to her cervical cancer, she had kidney failure, which is ultimately what killed her. Since kidneys are responsible for filter waste from blood which is excreted via urination, it might explain, in part, the strong ammonia odor. As I said before, ammonia is found in urine, and a strong ammonia odor has often been associated with kidney problems, due to the build up of wastes that are not being properly expelled. Perhaps this concentration of wastes in the blood reacted with the greasy stuff she was using for pain. However, her family says she did not use that substance, and are adamant about it. Maybe they didn't know. Or maybe that was the nature of the treatment received in Mexico, whatever they used had this DMSO stuff in it. The Lawrence Livermore Labs assessment that somehow, a chemical reaction in her body created a sort of nerve gas analogue is interesting.

The interesting fact is that two of the staff were hospitalized and treated for very quantifiable illnesses, the doctor even needing surgeries. Others had some pretty severe symptoms. Whatever happened in that room wasn't "sociogenic" by any means.

posted on Aug, 23 2013 @ 04:57 AM
reply to post by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

This is of interest, also, because the long term effects of DMSO, though it would take quite a bit of it for a long period of time--perhaps not so much with a compromised metabolic system, due to the cancer, itself, tho....
would be kidney failure, eventually. DMSO, just by itself, could eventually cause, or certainly, contribute, to kidney damage and failure.

Simple things, we all know, like ammonia and bleach create a type of nerve gas, at the least an effect similar to one. Just kind of stream of consciousness things that are popping into my head, while writing and trying to think where and how and what could cause, then, at her death some type of chemical chain reaction that would have made others, for a short period of time either right before or right after her death, to become ill. It's also difficult to ascertain an answer not knowing what she was mixing with the DMSO, for it would have been present mixed with soomething's only property, I would think that would be helpful to her in any way, was primarily as a delivery agent because of its powerful osmotic transmission when applied topically, getting a steroid or something like capsazin, or some other kind of anti inflammatory drug......Also, it was clearly mixed, as well, with something l ike glycol to make the suspension she was applying topically a "gel" form, as DMSO is a liquid.
There erally isn't enough information, yet, to figure it out.

It does occur to me that right after or just before her death, they may have been giving her sponge baths, to soothe and disinfect. Something they used like Hibicleanse (wonder if it has any bleach in it) combined with the DMSO on her skin, and the build up of ammonia in her bloodstream due to the kidney failure, could somehow have created a toxic gas, maybe, and could have been coming out of her pores for a very short period of time, juust before the poor lady's death.....sort of a reverse osmotic reaction. I wonder if that is at all possible.

posted on Aug, 23 2013 @ 06:20 AM
reply to post by tetra50

That is also highly possible. A number of unknowns can be reasonably suggested from this. The oxygen the paramedics were pumping into her causing some sort of odd chemical reaction in her blood as stated. Or hospital disinfectants. A number of wild cards could have caused it. The kidney failure angle is perhaps key to a lot of unknowns, as that was ultimately what caused her death in the end. Ammonia and bleach certainly do make a type of nerve gas, and the doctor's later issues are consistent with certain types of nerve agent poisoning.

So very weird.

posted on Aug, 26 2013 @ 05:50 PM
I've heard this story before... But the version I heard was totally different and way more suspicious.


...Six days earlier, as Ramirez was being treated at Riverside General Hospital for nausea and difficulty breathing, six emergency-room workers attending to her smelled ammonia-like fumes and became ill. A nurse who had been drawing Ramirez's blood passed out.

An ER doctor was wheeled out of the room unconscious and with severe breathing problems. A respiratory therapist also passed out; another nurse threw up. Other workers near Ramirez complained of headache and nausea. An evacuation of the ER was ordered. Ramirez, a young mother with advanced cervical cancer, died in the emergency room that night—February 19, 1994.

Inspectors from California's worker-safety agency deemed her corpse a public health hazard; it was wrapped in two layers of heavy plastic and stored in an airtight aluminum casket...

edit on 26-8-2013 by Dantose because: (no reason given)

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