Bleeding from the eyes and through intact skin: Physiologic, structural, spiritual, or faked?
Patients with an apparent bleeding disorder can usually be diagnosed by a careful history, physical examination, and screening laboratory tests. However, at times the constellation of bleeding signs and symptoms fail to be explained by test results and/or our current understanding of hemostatic mechanisms. One such patient is the subject of the current report. She is a 13-year-old female with a history of striking bleeding manifestations, including spontaneous hemorrhage from her eyes, scalp, hands, and feet. She was evaluated by one of the authors at a teaching hospital in Mumbai, India in March 2009 during the filming of a National Geographic Channel documentary characterizing puzzling medical disorders encountered in India. Given her unusual bleeding manifestations, she received international media attention at the time. National Geographic and a film company in the United Kingdom subsequently expressed interest in highlighting the patient to document her seemingly rare hematologic disorder and contacted the American Society of Hematology to identify an American hematologist to further investigate the case. With consent of the family and collaboration with a hematologist practicing at a teaching hospital in Mumbai, filming commenced during March 2009 in an attempt to capture the patient's diagnosis and the cultural and medical milieu in which the bleeding events occurred. Am. J. Hematol. 88:713–716, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.