The girl who sweats blood

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An 11-year-old girl was recently admitted at the QuyHoa National Leprosy Dermatology Hospital, in Vietnam, under suspicion of suffering from hematidrosis, a very rare medical condition in which people sweat blood.

The young girl, identified only as N., to protect her privacy, allegedly started sweating blood three or four months ago when her parents claimed she was very stressed about her exam for fifth grade. They didn’t take her to a doctor when the first symptoms appeared, but things gradually got worse, to the point where the girl would sweat blood three or four times a day and suffer from severe headaches.

N.’s parents originally took her to the Blood Transfusion Hematology and the Dermatology Hospital in Ho Chi Minh, where doctors diagnosed her with a skin infection and prescribed her several drugs. However, the treatment did not seem to help at all, so the family, who hails from Vietnam’s Gia Lai province, took her to Quy Hoa National Leprosy Dermatology Hospital, in QuyNhon.

Cases of hematidrosis have been reported since ancient times, and even though there is much we don’t know about it, this is considered a real medical condition. What limited knowledge we have of hematidrosis points to extreme stress and life-threatening situations as the main causes.

In this 11-year-old’s case, doctors have run tests on all of her major organs, all of which came out normal. For the time being, they are trying to reduce the girl’s stress levels, hoping that this was the cause of her “blood sweat”.

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