Doctors stumped by patient who sweats blood from hands, face

Doctors stumped by patient who sweats blood from hands, face
Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The case of a 21-year-old woman who was admitted to an Italian hospital for sweating blood has left doctors stumped.

Details were published about the case Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which shared a case study by doctors Roberto Maglie, MD and Marzia Caproni, MD. The woman was not identified in the study.

Doctors say the woman had a three-year history of bleeding from her palms and face despite not having skin lesions.

"There was no obvious trigger for the bleeding, which could occur while she was asleep and during times of physical activity. She stated that more intense bleeding occurred during times of perceived emotional stress," Caproni writes in the report.

Episodes lasted anywhere from one to five minutes.

"Our patient had become socially isolated owing to embarrassment over the bleeding and she reported symptoms consistent with major depressive disorder and panic disorder. There was no history of psychosis," the study reads.

First, doctors had to determine whether the case was real or factitious disorder. Factitious disorder is a mental disorder in which a person acts as if they have an illness.

Eventually, they settled on hematohidrosis – a rare condition characterized by discharge of "blood sweat" through the skin.

Although the study notes that there's not a single explanation for what causes it, Maglie and Caproni threw out a series of possible causes including systemic diseases and exertion and psychogenic disorders.

The patient was treated for her depression and anxiety and given propranolol to treat her hematohidrosis. Doctors say it led to a reduction but not complete remission of bleeding.

Read more about the study here.

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