As I browse the news headlines from day to day, I am often discouraged at what I perceive to be lack of coverage of blood clots and their potential to kill. Headlines are riddled with people battling cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes – and not that those things aren’t important too – but, I feel like not enough attention is brought to blood clots. We are regularly schooled on what symptoms of heart attacks and strokes are, but not blood clots. There are fundraisers, races, walks, charity events and endless support for breast cancer and heart disease survivors, but not blood clots. And, the reality of it is, blood clots are a leading killer – DVT occurs in about 2 million Americans each year, and up to 600,000 people are hospitalized in the United States each year for DVT and its primary complication, PE.An estimated 300,000 first-time cases of DVT occur in the United States every year.More people die in the United States from PE than from breast cancer and AIDS combined (//preventdvt.org).
When incidences of blood clots in the news do appear, it is sadly because someone passed away or because a famous person was injured. While I am glad we are spreading the news – I don’t always feel like we are spreading the awareness until it is too late, as in the case of death. Many cases of blood clots are completely treatable and death is preventable if we know the signs and symptoms and seek medical attention before it is too late. I did not, and it almost cost me my life.
Whether I notice it more or not since I suffered from a PE in 2012, I feel that once a celebrity is affected by a blood clot, it makes news for a day or two and then blood clots are once again overshadowed by other diseases, ailments and tragedies. The truth is, though, word is getting out. Each time someone suffers from a blood clot and it is reported, a small piece of information also gets out; whether it be a sign, symptom, statistic or warning. Little by little and bit by bit, the word is getting out. I am, however, saddened that many have and will pass away or have their lives radically altered by a blood clot.
Here are some of the recent headlines, in case you haven’t read them yet-
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was treated with blood thinners on Monday at a New York hospital to help dissolve a blood clot in her head and doctors were confident she would make a full recovery. The clot was located in the vein between the brain and and the skull behind Clinton’s right ear and did not result in any stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said in a statement. Clinton was treated with blood thinners to help dissolve the clot and would be released once the medication dose had been established, they said. – CNN.com January 2013
The fashion world is shocked by the sudden death of the celebrity stylist and former fashion editor, Annabel Tollman who suddenly in her sleep at 36. The British stylist lived and worked in NYC, where she was best known for her affinity for old-Hollywood glamour and for dressing celebrity clients. – HollywoodLife.com June 2013
Mumford & Sons bassist Ted Dwane is at home recovering after having brain surgery. The 28-year-old musician had emergency surgery last week after a scan revealed a blood clot on the surface of his brain, but he is now convalescing and has thanked fans for their messages of support. – CTVNews.ca June 2013
Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop turned actor, died suddenly this morning in Scottsdale, Ariz., from a blood clot in his lung, ABC News has confirmed. He was 69. – abcnews.go.com July 2013
Taken into emergency theatre, she never imagined her sudden chest pains and difficulty breathing were sparked by a near-fatal pulmonary embolism or PE. But it was when surgeons operated they found five others in her lungs – the biggest 9cm long – they knew just how close to dying she had come. Now 28 and on medication, the mother-of-one wants to warn other young Australians about the deadly condition which affects one in 1000 Australians, and kills one in ten within a month of diagnosis. – HeraldSun.com July 2013
Share your story. Do you feel like blood clots are not given enough attention by the media? Have you heard of any more stories not listed above? Share in the comments!
There is hope for healing and you are not alone,