Can A Hickey Actually Result In Death? We Asked A Doctor

Reports are swirling that a teenager in Mexico died after a hickey caused a stroke.

Julio Macias Gonzalez, who was 17, reportedly died after the suction from a hickey his girlfriend gave him caused a blood clot, which traveled to his brain and caused a stroke, the Huffington Post reported, citing Mexican outlets.

Just a quick search in Google shows that people want to know: Can a hickey kill you?

To kill you, a hickey would, to put it simply, have to be “the mother of all hickeys,” according to Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“It’s possible this could happen, but it's very rare, and parents should be reassured it’s not something that happens in a routine way,” he said.

Glatter said someone might be more susceptible to injury from a hickey if they have an existing connective tissue disorder.

Glatter said damage to the carotid artery could occur from direct pressure for a prolonged period, and that could cause a tear or injury to the wall of the blood vessel, leading to the formation of a blood clot, which could “travel to a smaller artery in the brain leading to a stroke.”

“Any sudden motion of the neck including a vigorous cough or sneezing, or even aggressive manipulation by a chiropractor could lead to a carotid artery dissection,” he said. “This is essentially how a hickey could lead to a stroke.”

And while hickeys are usually only the source of minor embarrassment, this isn't the first time that a hickey has resulted in a medical emergency.

In 2010, a 44-year-old woman had a minor stroke after a hickey caused a blood clot that traveled to her heart, the New Zealand Medical Journal reported, according to Newser. 

Copyright 2016 WFMY


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