Taking the Bench
When it was announced in February that Miami Heat basketball star Chris Bosh would not be returning to active play for the rest of last season, it was a shock. Indeed, Bosch’s contribution was sorely missed as the Heat exited in the second round of the playoffs, having pushed Toronto to the brink of elimination. Consistently one of the best players in the league, Bosh currently averages 19.2 points a game along with 8.5 rebounds a game: numbers especially impressive when you recall he played alongside greats like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade while winning two championships in both 2012 and 2013.
What happened? Was it injury that kept Bosh out? It turns out Bosch has deep vein thrombosis (DVT), more commonly known as a “blood clot.” He isn’t alone in this diagnosis, sharing it with approximately 900,000 people in the U.S. DVT can be fatal. Affecting circulation of the blood, what makes it particularly dangerous is that the clots can dislodge and block arteries and veins in other, more crucial, areas. The scariest scenario—and likely the biggest reason such a cautious approach is being taken with Bosh—is the condition “pulmonary embolism:” when blood flow is blocked in the lungs. When this occurs, oxygen is no longer able to get where it needs to, and a person could in essence drown on dry land.
Drawing up the Play: Signs & Symptoms
On every level in basketball, the coaching staff and players are best served when they know their opponents inside and out. On the professional level, the play of opposing players and tendencies of teams are thoroughly studied. The plan is to counter their play by exploiting their weaknesses with plays are drawn up before every game.
The same could be said when suffering from pulmonary embolism. Given the severity of this condition, it’s important to find its weaknesses and combat them using medical treatments. Major symptoms include:
Sometimes, DVT occurs without being noticed, but for pulmonary embolism, the signs are unmistakable:
Should you experience any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you call a “time-out” and seek medical attention find here.
Filling up the Stat-Sheet: DVT Risk Factors
Sometimes DVT gives no sign. A knowledge of risk factors, then, can be of great importance. There are many, but here’s a rundown of some of the most common:
For a more complete list, check out reference #3.
The Fourth Quarter
During the final minutes of a basketball game, you are able to witness the results of preparation, strategic adjustments, and different executions of each team’s game plan. Huge early leads might have evaporated, star players may have become tired or frustrated, or a punch-for-punch battle can become a final, tense slugfest.
The same with DVT. It can be a heck of an opponent, but it’s also beatable.
Remember: until the clock reads “0:00,” anything is possible. A good player like Bosh will not give up in the most crucial moments of the game. In the same way, DVT is not the end of the game. Rather, it is a test.
There are a number of treatments available here at Clarity Vein and Vascular, and as with basketball, a combination of having the right attitude, developing the right fundamentals, having the right combination of teammates and skills, your battle with DVT can be won.
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