Mysterious disease - feet bursting with blood?

Now that I’ve got your attention, can someone identify a disease that might cause a person’s foot to pool and then burst with blood? I returned to the mountains for some non-strenuous outdoor activities after my recent injury. As I was settling in to my tent for the night at a remote campsite, my fiancee and I were summoned to assist a white male, mid-late 30’s whose foot had suddenly started to gush blood. There were pools of blood everywhere. His foot was draining so rapidly in fact, that it was necessary to apply a tourniquet - a drastic, life-saving action. He was already in shock when I arrived. Apparently, his foot hadn’t been injured (or if he had, it had been a small nick - the patient wasn’t very communicative). I had expected to find a bloody axe judging by the volume of blood on the ground. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to have a friendly chat with the man’s companion, but before he could be put into a van for the long ride to the hospital, I learned that this incident was somehow related to a pre-existing disease, although the man appeared to be healthy and in good shape. I’m curious to know what kind of illness might lead to such sudden and life-threatening blood loss. My best guess is that he has some sort of valve dysfunction that causes blood to pool in his feet, increasing the pressure to the point where a minor trauma such as a cut from a sharp rock or a piece of glass would cause profuse bleeding. Based on some cursory reading, it doesn’t sound like any variation of hemophilia, but I’ll defer to more experienced dopers. I don’t have any medical training other than some basic wilderness first aid which is geared more towards keeping a patient alive long enough to reach civilization. Unfortunately, I don’t know if the man survived or even his name. I didn’t read about it in today’s papers, though.

Haemophilia perhaps?

Try this link:

Basically, a person lacks clotting agents in thier blood, so even a small cut can be fatal.


Ooops. I missed this line the first time through. Still sounds like haemophilia to me.


My guess would be that he was taking some anti-clotting medication, possibly aggravated by altitude.

Then again, I’m not even remotely a doctor.

Good lord. Its late. I clearly have no idea what I’m talking about. Ignore me. Thank you.


I did do some research before posting. From the first paragraph of your link:

It wasn’t hemophilia.

Please, allow me to reiterate:

My sister reported to me about a similar incident that happened to her husband. He was practicing for running the marathon, and overexercised, running about 50 miles in one stretch (he’s a fanatic!) When he finished, his shoes were full of blood and his feet were swollen and bloated, in much the same way as you described. I guess his feet just turned into one huge blood blister.
I don’t know what it IS, but it could just be a similar case of extreme overuse.

Those in grown toe nails will get you anytime.

This sounds much like a condition my Dad has. As the OP suggests, he has circulatory problems. The blood vessels in his lower legs are extremely pronounced and blood often collects there rather than continuing its trip through the body. Due to his poor circulation, Dad is on the blood-thinner Cumadin. As a result of all this, small cuts on his lower legs bleed profusely. Combine all this with the heart of a 30-year-old and it would cause the situation you describe.