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Roshini Rajapaksa, MD
June 23, 2011

couple-tickling-hickeyGetty ImagesQ: I read about a woman who got a hickey that led to a stroke that partially paralyzed her! How is that possible?

A: Crazy, right? But it can happen. A hickey is really nothing more than a bruise that occurs when the force of someone sucking on your neck is strong enough to rupture superficial blood vessels. In the case that was in the news, it seems that the hickey was located near a major artery, and the suction was tremendous enough to create a blood clot which led to the stroke. Honestly,though, your chances of getting a life-threatening hickey are extremely small (unless, perhaps, youre dating a vampire).

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