Lovebite partially paralyses woman

GILES BROWN
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2011

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A Christchurch doctor had to treat a woman after she was partially paralysed by a lovebite from her amorous partner.

Dr Teddy Wu, who is currently working in the neurology department at Christchurch Hospital, said he believed it was the first time someone had been hospitalised by a "hickey".

An article on the case has appeared in the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Wu said he saw the woman over a year ago while he was working in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland.

The 44-year-old Maori woman went to the emergency department after experiencing loss of movement in her left arm.

It happened while she was sitting watching television.

The only injury was a lovebite on the right of her neck near an artery.

"Because it was a lovebite there would be a lot of suction.

"Because of the physical trauma it had made a bit of bruising inside the vessel," said Wu.

"There was a clot in the artery underneath where the hickey was."

The clot had gone into the woman's heart and caused a minor stroke that led to the loss of movement, he said.

She was treated with warfarin, an anticoagulant.

That treatment saw the clot disappear almost entirely within a week, he said.

"We looked around the medical literature and that example of having a lovebite causing something like that hasn't been described before," he said.

If it had not been treated quickly the woman could have suffered more strokes.

"Strokes have different levels of severity. But possibly patients can become paralysed."

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- The Press

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