In This Rare Rooster Attack, A Woman’s Varicose Veins Proved to Be Deadly



By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder


For the most part, the following tragic story is really about bad timing and bad luck.

Recently, a 76-year-old woman bled to death after a rooster pecked at her leg and punctured a varicose vein.

According to this report, the woman was attacked by the rooster on a rural property in South Australia while she was gathering eggs from her chicken coop. 

A few aggressive pecks from the resident rooster was all it took for her to haemorrhage and collapse.”

The official cause of death was exsanguination, which is severe loss of blood. And it appears that the punctured varicose vein is what really caused a lot of bleeding.

The case study on the incident says, “This case demonstrates that even relatively small domestic animals may be able to inflict lethal injuries in individuals if there are specific vascular vulnerabilities present.”

Clearly this is an example of bad timing and bad luck. What are the chances of being pecked by a rooster right on a vein on your body that could be deadly if lacerated? Pretty much every report on this sad story mentions that this was a very rare and unusual incident. But in my opinion, this is also an example of how certain health-related issues that may not seem like a big deal can really put us at risk.

I’ve blogged about varicose veins before, and I think this sad story is definitely reason to bring up this topic again. 

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted and enlarged veins you can see under the skin. These veins are overfilled with blood and usually have a bluish-purple or red color. You may have heard people say they have “spider veins,” which is essentially a milder case of varicose veins. They normally occur in the legs. Some varicose veins are so bad that they may protrude or bulge underneath the skin.

In most cases, varicose veins are superficial and just a cosmetic concern. (More severe cases may cause ulcers or sores on the legs, blood clots (which may cause a heart attack or stroke), chronic inflammation and sometimes vein rupture. You can read more about the risks here).

“Varicose veins are caused by increased blood pressure in the veins,” according to John Hopkins Medicine.

“The blood moves towards the heart by one-way valves in the veins. When the valves become weakened or damaged, blood can collect in the veins. This causes the veins to become enlarged.”

The pressure and damage that may cause varicose veins can be from being pregnant, standing for long periods of time and also from being overweight.

According to one of the reports referenced earlier, “The deceased woman was reportedly overweight, with a medical history of high blood pressure and diabetes. Her varicose veins had been operated on in the past, but the condition was severe enough that she had trouble walking.”

Reportedly, she struggled to walk away from the attack. She was attempting to get to her husband for help, but it was just too late unfortunately. It is possible that she may have had a higher chance of surviving if she was not overweight and been able to better manage her varicose veins.

What can we do about varicose veins?

Nutrition plays a huge role in being proactive about varicose veins. Obviously if you’re overweight or obese, you are likely eating unhealthy, nutrient-void foods that are causing you to be overweight, which, in turn, may cause varicose veins.

So eating a nutrient-rich, healthy and balanced diet is imperative in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing varicose veins. It is also important to be physically active, and you might want to consider wearing compression stockings if you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time. This can help with proper blood flow in the legs.

Cryosurgery may be a very safe and quick way to treat varicose veins.

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, “In cryosurgery, liquid nitrogen is used to remove skin growths, fade age spots and treat early stage basal and squamous cell carcinomas. The doctor will apply frozen nitrogen using either a cotton swab or a spray device. The goal is to freeze the skin quickly and then allow it to slowly thaw to cause maximum destruction to targeted skin cells.”

And with varicose veins, the use of cryosurgery may also be a viable option for treatment. Essentially, the vein is frozen and then it can be partially or completely removed. The procedure is somewhat similar to vein stripping, but is said by some to be less invasive and painful.

There is even some evidence that to the extent cryotherapy enhances microcirculation, it may be beneficial for certain varicose veins. Cryotherapy may increase blood flow and produce anti-inflammatory effects in the body, and all of these benefits may help with varicose veins.

For more information on cryotherapy, read here


Enjoy your healthy life!


The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.   


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