Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh received sobering news on Saturday. He suffered a pulmonary embolism, which will cause him to miss the rest of the 2014-15 NBA season.
Bosh was hospitalized at South Miami Hospital on Thursday but, amid a conflicting diagnosis, underwent further testing on Friday. The diagnosis was confirmed today.
This is a serious and scary condition, but according to Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Bosh avoided a potential life-threatening situation.
A pulmonary embolism(1) occurs when a substance – most often a blood clot, as is the case for Bosh – that develops in a blood vessel elsewhere in the body travels through the bloodstream to an artery in the lung and forms an occlusion (blockage). The obstruction, which blocks blood flow through the lungs and puts pressure on the right ventricle of the heart, can be fatal.
It is rare to have a single pulmonary embolism. In most cases, as is the case for Bosh, multiple clots are involved.
Blood clotting is a normal process that occurs in the body to prevent bleeding and promote healing after an injury. The body forms blood clots when the platelets within the blood encounter a damaged blood vessel, and then breaks them down as the damaged tissue heals. However, clots can form unexpectedly, without notice, and have dangerous consequences. They can happen to anyone for a number of reasons.
Almost all blood clots that cause pulmonary embolisms are formed in a deep vein of the leg (itself called a deep vein thrombosis). A piece of the clot breaks off from the wall of the vessel in the leg, travels via the bloodstream up the body, through the right side of the heart, and lodges in an artery of the lung. Read more…