It was certainly one of the most bizarre cases ever seen or heard of in the medical world but it’s real as Italian doctors were left bewildered when a woman was admitted to the hospital for “sweating blood” from her face and hands.
According to a new case report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday, a 21-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with a condition that caused her to sweat blood from her face and from the palms of her hands – despite no sign of any skin lesions.
— CMAJ (@CMAJ) October 23, 2017
It was gathered that the woman has been suffering from the mysterious disorder for three years and would start bleeding spontaneously in her sleep or while she was physically active.
It’s unclear what triggered the bleeding, but the bleeding intensified when she was under stress – and the episodes normally lasted from one to five minutes.
Doctors had initially floated different theories on what might have caused the condition, including factitious disorder, when someone would deceive others by appearing sick.
However, she continued to spontaneously bleed after she was prescribed paroxetine and clonazepam for her depression and anxiety order.
They ultimately concluded she had hematohidrosis, an uncommon disease that would cause “spontaneous discharge of ‘blood sweat’ through intact skin.” Blood can also come out of areas that don’t have sweat glands.
Speaking to CBC News on the development, Dr. Michelle Sholzberg, co-director of the Hemophilia Comprehensive Care program at St. Michael’s Hospital, said the case is the “most unusual.”
“I can say with clarity that I’ve never seen a case like this — ever,” Sholzberg said, adding that “and I can say that I’ve seen some of the worst bleeding disorders, and I’ve never seen them sweat blood.”
“I think this person has a very bizarre anatomical defect on a microscopic level that is resulting in this very unusual symptom,” the Canadian hematologist concluded.