Real Stories from People Who Have Experienced Blood Clots – David Bock
I was seriously injured several years ago when I slipped and fell in Upland, California. I was rushed to the emergency room (ER), where the ER doctor determined that I had multiple fractures of my left leg and ankle. While in the ER, my leg was set in a soft splint and I was then sent directly home to Arizona where I could receive further care.
After seeing an orthopedic specialist, I was advised that I needed surgery to receive plates and pins to provide stability to my left leg and ankle. However, while waiting for the date of my surgery, I became increasingly ill and then began to experience noticeable and unexplained difficulty breathing. I was taken immediately by ambulance to the closest ER.
After many tests were conducted, I was told I had a blood clot, known also as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), that had formed in the deep vein of my left leg. A piece of this blood clot then broke off and traveled to my lungs, resulting in a complication of DVT called pulmonary embolism. I later learned that a sign of pulmonary embolism is unexplained difficulty in breathing.
I was immediately admitted to the intensive care unit for treatment of the pulmonary embolism. My condition worsened to the point where I became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Fortunately I responded after resuscitation and was treated with special drugs designed to dissolve blood clots. Later I had an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placed in my vein in order to prevent any more blood clots in my legs from traveling to my lungs.
I am telling my story about my experience with a traumatic injury because I want to help inform others about the risks of blood clots. I would like you to know that if you experience a traumatic injury, such as a fracture, and your legs become immobilized, you are at increased risk for blood clots. By talking to your healthcare team to learn more about your risks for blood clots, you become a stronger advocate for your own healthcare.
CDC would like to thank David for sharing this personal story.