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 Bosh sought treatment reasonably promptly and, according to Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, avoided a potential life-threatening situation.
A pulmonary embolism 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 to an artery in the lung and forms an occlusion (blockage) of the artery. The obstruction, which blocks blood flow through the lungs and puts pressure on the right ventricle of the heart, can be fatal.
The blood clot (thrombus) most commonly originates in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis) of the leg. 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.
A blood clot that forms in a blood vessel in one area of the body and travels to another area of the body is called an embolus. When an embolus lodges itself in a blood vessel, blocking the blood supply to a particular organ, the blockage is called an embolism. The term pulmonary refers to the lungs.
It is rare to have a single pulmonary embolism. In most cases, 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. Read more…