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David Blum’s sudden death was caused by a “silent killer.”Know the signs


nbc David Bloom He died while on duty in Iraq on April 6, 2003. The war correspondent was prepared for all possible dangers, but the manner of his death shocked his family and the world.

The cause of death was complications of deep vein thrombosis. A blood clot that developed in Broome’s leg (possibly caused in part by spending so much time in the cramped armored vehicle) spread to his lungs, causing fatal death. pulmonary embolismsudden obstruction of the pulmonary artery.

His widow Melanie called it “the bomb buried inside him.”

“Just a few days before he died, he called me and told me he was sleeping on the fender of the tank because he had leg cramps.” She told Today.com.

“He was experiencing severe pain in his legs and was unable to sleep. None of us realized at the time that these cramps could be an early sign of deep vein thrombosis.”

Bloom, 39, collapsed while driving north toward Baghdad with the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, leaving behind a wife and three young daughters.

Twins Christine and Nicole Bloom, 29, and their sister Ava Bloom, 23, shared some of his last words. In April 2023, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of Bloom’s death.

The year Bloom died, his widow conducted a study showing that 74% of Americans were completely unaware of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). previously told TODAY.com.

“I myself had never heard of DVT, and I don’t think David had either. The more I learned, the more shocked I was. It wasn’t an IED or a bomb that took his life. It was DVT, “she says.

Twenty years later, deep vein thrombosis is better understood for the following reasons family effortshe set March as National DVT Awareness MonthHis widow has become a leading advocate for spreading the word about the dangers of the disease.

This may occur after a long flight or after surgery. Here’s information about your risks and how to prevent blood clots from forming.

What is deep vein thrombosis?

It occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, but sometimes also in the arm, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This can cause permanent damage to the vein valves and lead to long-term problems such as pain, swelling, and leg soreness. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons warn.

If a blood clot ruptures, it can travel through the bloodstream and block blood flow to the lungs — a rare but potentially fatal complication, the organization noted.

NBC's David Bloom reported from Iraq before his death in 2003.  (today)

NBC’s David Bloom reported from Iraq before his death in 2003. (today)

Who is at risk for DVT?

This condition affects up to 900,000 Americans each year, CDC says.

Anyone can develop blood clots, but certain factors increase the risk, such as obesity, older age, and a family history of DVT.

The biggest risk factors include:

  • Injured veins – This can happen during surgery or when a leg is broken.

  • slow blood flow — Caused by sitting for long periods of time (for example, on a transoceanic flight), especially cross-legged; or by being confined to bed after recovering from surgery or due to other medical conditions.

  • increased estrogen — Due to birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, or pregnancy.

  • chronic illness —Including heart disease, lung disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Coagulopathy — Bloom’s autopsy revealed he had V factor LeidenHis widow noted that this is an inherited genetic mutation that increases a person’s chance of developing abnormal blood clots. Dr. Geoff Barnes, a vascular medicine specialist at the University of Michigan, said on the October 27 episode of “Today” that this situation is common. He noted that 20 out of 10 people with Western European ancestry may suffer from this genetic disorder.

  • dehydration

What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

According to the World Health Organization, about half of people with DVT show no symptoms, which is why it’s called the “silent killer.” National Institutes of Health.

If warning signs do occur, they may include swelling, pain, tenderness, and redness of the skin in the affected area of ​​the body.

“Check for leg swelling or cramping, especially if it’s more severe in one leg than the other,” says Barnes. “It could be a blood clot starting in your leg.”

He added that it’s important to take family history and know if any relatives have had blood clots.

If a blood clot ruptures, travels to the lungs and causes a pulmonary embolism (the most serious complication of DVT), symptoms may include sudden difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing up blood, dizziness, and irregular heartbeats. These symptoms may require a trip to the emergency room, Barnes said.

How to prevent DVT?

If you sit for long periods of time (such as on a transoceanic flight), it’s important to get up and move around regularly to keep your blood flowing and prevent it from pooling in your legs.

“our calf muscles “It’s a very efficient pump that squeezes the veins and pushes blood back to the heart,” said Dr. Gregory Piazza, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. previously told TODAY.com“When we sit for long periods of time, we lose the pump power of our calf muscles.”

He recommends getting up and walking at least once an hour and performing calf exercises and foot pump exercises to help strengthen the pumping action of your calf muscles.

The CDC recommends that when you sit, raise and lower your heels while placing your toes on the floor, and then do the opposite motion by placing your heels on the floor.

If you’ve had a blood clot before, consider wearing compression stockings, Piazza says.

This article was originally published in today.com



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