October 9, 2015

Bleeding Varicose Veins

Nothing is more frightening than standing in the shower enjoying the warm water and then looking down at your feet only to discover that one of your varicose veins has decided to spontaneously start bleeding. It is an impressive and terrifying site. Blood may be literally shooting out across the shower. In a panic you shut the water off and grab a towel and try to stop the bleeding by wiping at it. Nope, that doesn’t work so you squat down and put some pressure on it. OK, that worked, but then you take your hand away and it starts right up again. Now you are really panicking and hobble your way to a nearby chair or couch and sit down to more closely inspect it. Again, when you take your hand away blood pours out. Now you have a huge mess on your floor and are no closer to getting control of the situation. Now what?

Spontaneous vein bleeding

Unfortunately spontaneous bleeding is an all too common scenario faced by varicose vein suffers. Bleeding from a varicose vein is profound the downward pressure found in varicose veins can be tremendous and when a hole forms……out it comes. The reason for bleeding from a varicose vein is really quite simple. You see, the vein has been stretched out and as a result has a very thin wall. Now the only thing seperating the blood inside the vein from the outside world is a thin walled vein and a few thin skin cells. If a small scratch or injury to the site occurs, this thin barrier is broken and blood can escape. Sometimes this happens by simply softening the skin in the area by soaking in a shower or bath. Other times people find that shaving the legs results in bleeding. Whatever the cause, it is very scary.

So what should you do? Well, first of all, don’t panic. Remain calm and try to remember that it is really hard to bleed to death from a bleeding vein. If this were an artery, that would be a different story, but even though it looks like a lot of blood, it really isn’t all that much. Next, get flat on your back and elevate the leg that is bleeding as far above the heart as possible. Then, place some direct pressure right over the bleeding vein. It is best if someone can do this for you, but in a pinch you can lean forward and do this yourself. All the while keeping the foot above the level of your heart. Now keep this up for 20-30 minutes. Because veins are under relatively low pressure to begin with, the bleeding should stop and a clot and scab should form.

If after 30 minutes the bleeding continues or it start up again if you stand up, then you may need to make a trip to the emergency room. There they will likely either put a stitch in it or inject it with a solution to help it stop. Whatever the case if you have had this experience you now need to go in and see your local vein treatment specialist because you obviously have some significant vein issues and these need to be dealt with in a permanent manner so that this doesn’t happen again.