Can a hickey kill you? Docs allege teen boy died from stroke caused by girlfriend’s love bite
A 17-year-old boy died after a hickey from his girlfriend caused a blood clot that travelled to his brain, according to reports out of Mexico City.
Julio Macias Gonzalez started convulsing at the dinner table after spending the day with his 24-year-old girlfriend, Mexican newspaper, Hoy Estado De Mexico, said last week.
His family called for emergency help right away. When paramedics arrived, they attributed the teen’s death to a bruise on his neck from his lover’s kiss. The hickey resulted in a blood clot that travelled to Gonzalez’ brain, international reports suggest.
The Independent in the U.K. even reports that the boy’s parents are blaming his girlfriend for his death. The newspaper says she’s now in hiding.
Stroke in young adults is pretty rare – they make up about 10 per cent of incidents, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Ischemic stroke is the most common type, making up about 80 to 90 per cent of all strokes. It’s when a region of the brain is deprived of blood flow, usually because of a blood clot or a blocked artery.
WATCH ABOVE: Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada but The Heart and Stroke Foundation is hoping to change that. It’s launched a new national campaign aimed at teaching people to recognize the signs of stroke. We spoke with stroke survivor Jacques Lalonde about the importance of this campaign.
But can a hickey cause a blood clot that leads to a stroke? It’s too hard for Canadian doctors to tell without any insight into the full situation.
“We can’t comment on this case, as we don’t have any medical history. Generally speaking, hickeys are simply superficial bruising and there’s no scientific evidence available that could inform our thinking about this situation as it relates to stroke,” Teresa Roncon, spokeswoman for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, told Global News.
But this isn’t the first instance of a hickey causing so much damage: in 2011, a New Zealand woman ended up with loss of movement in her left arm and was taken to hospital after she received a love bite.
Doctors thought she had a stroke and put together the pieces after they saw a bruise on her neck. Their conclusion? The suction from the hickey tampered with a major artery, causing a blood clot to form, according to the Independent.
“To my knowledge, it’s the first time someone has been hospitalized by a hickey,” the doctors reported in a case study at the time.
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