weather dependent nasal erythema in reindeer

23 Dec

repost of an old low-impact review for the holidays.  updates will be sporadic during this season, but until then, happy holidays and happy new year!


I love the fact that this review article exists:

Towards evidence based emergency medicine: best BETs from the Manchester Royal Infirmary. Weather dependent nasal erythema in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).  Teece S, Foëx BA. Emerg Med J. 2007 Dec;24(12):848-50.



“There appears to be no evidence for a specific disease state in reindeer, therefore nasal erythema may be due to increased blood flow to the nose”

“The evidence suggests that in winter resting reindeer will not have a red nose, but that when frantically circumnavigating the globe their noses will glow as they try to lose heat.

A reindeer with a red nose at rest at the North Pole means either deranged temperature regulation, or the use of drugs. Neither of these conditions would inspire confidence for an arduous journey.”


Clinical bottom line

“A global positioning system is perhaps a more reliable navigational instrument than a reindeer with a brain at boiling point.”


References: the article; picture


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