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Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014

News

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: NBC reporter's widow sounds thrombosis warning at West Penn

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

By Brian Bowling

Tribune-Review

A blood clot that killed NBC News correspondent David Bloom in 2003 didn't develop from smoking and eating fatty foods. The clot formed in his leg during the hours he sat and even slept in a cramped tank while he reported on the war in Iraq.

In a phone conversation, Bloom told his wife, Melanie, that he was sleeping outside the tank because his legs had been cramping. She was worried because he was supposed to stay inside the tank for protection against snipers and bombs. Two days after their phone conversation, Bloom abruptly collapsed, she said.

"It was a bomb he couldn't protect himself from because he didn't even know it existed," she said.

For the past six years, Melanie Bloom has been campaigning to alert people to the dangers of deep-vein thrombosis. Thrombosis is the medical term for the formation of a clot. The deep veins are generally in the thigh and calf. Bloom died of a pulmonary embolism, which means the clot traveled into his lung and cut off the blood flow.

Bloom spoke Saturday at the West Penn Hospital during a seminar on deep-vein thrombosis. About 350,000 to 600,000 Americans develop the ailment each year, and it directly or indirectly kills about 100,000 people each year.

Dr. Margaret Kennedy, a deep-vein thrombosis expert at West Penn Hospital, said that while age and obesity increase a person's chances of developing the condition, her patients have included athletic teenagers.

One of the first signs can be a leg cramp that persists even after the leg has been massaged.

"This is not the usual charley horse," she said.
 

To read the rest of the story, visit the Tribune-Review web site.

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