News broke yesterday that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis is suffering from a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in his lungs. Unfortunately this isn’t Dupuis’s first blood clot; he had another one after a recent ACL tear. However, Dupuis is not the only NHL player to battle blood clots lately. Many hockey players have been sidelined in the past few years because of blood clots, and these clots could potentially be career ending.


In 2012, Adam McQuaid of the Boston Bruins had a blood clot in his chest near his collarbone. In 2013, another member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Tomas Vokoun, dealt with a clot in his pelvis. This was also his second go-around with blood clots. More recently, in the summer of 2014, Kimmo Timonen of the Philadelphia Flyers had clots in his right leg and both of his lungs. Considering all of these athletes are healthy, in great shape, and under the age of 40, who would have ever guessed they could develop blood clots like this?


Some of these players developed a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). It’s a fancy name for blood clots – ones that can occur anywhere in your body but often develop in your legs. Most people get them after injuries, surgeries, or sitting still for too long, such as on long bus or plane rides. Symptoms include redness, pain, and swelling in your arms or legs. Parts of these clots can break off and travel to other places in your body, causing serious complications. If a clot travels to your lung, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE). This can be deadly. Symptoms of this may include chest pain, breathing fast, coughing, coughing up blood, or anxiousness. Although certain medical issues can increase your risk for these clots, they unfortunately can affect anyone at any age.


The biggest problem with both DVT and PE is lack of awareness. More people die of blood clots each year in the United States than AIDS, breast cancer, ALS, and car accidents combined. That’s hundreds of thousands of people. That’s one person every 6 minutes—and that doesn’t count many more who survive and have long-term implications. Take a few minutes to educate yourself about blood clots at, as it could save your life. Clots are easy enough to prevent – just know your risks and move your feet to keep the blood moving. Please share this website and help spread the word!

In honor of March being DVT Awareness Month, I decided this week I would share with you all an easy little acronym to recall the signs of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Just to refresh your memory, a DVT is a blood clot that can form anywhere in your body (often in your lower legs) when you aren’t moving around as much as you usually do. People develop them on airplanes, long car rides, after injuries, in the hospital, and tons of other times. On top of that, anyone is at risk (old and young)! Being pregnant or on birth control pills, if you’re a smoker, if you’re overweight, or have any genetic blood disorders or a family history of clots increases your risk even more! The real danger of having a DVT is when the blood clots travel around your body and go to your heart, lungs, or brain. That can be fatal. In fact, over 100,000 people in the US die every year from blood clots that go to their lungs (pulmonary emboli). It’s the #1 cause of preventable death in hospitals.


Become AWARE of the signs of DVT and if you experience any, seek medical help immediately. Additionally if you have any of these signs and feel short of breath, have trouble breathing, have chest pain, or slurred speech call 911 immediately.

A= All of a sudden you experience the following symptoms

W= Warm to the touch arm, leg, or hip

A= Arm or leg pain that just started and gets worse when you point your toe up

R= Redness in the same area that is warm

E= Enlarged arm or leg (swollen larger than the other one)


Check out the rest of this website to learn some more…but seriously, check it out, what else are you really doing? 5 minutes on this site could save your life or the life of someone you know. That’s better than spending another 5 minutes procrastinating on StumbleUpon or Tumblr.

Please do me a favor and in honor of DVT Awareness Month, share this website with at least one person you know, and ask them to do the same. Help other people to become AWARE! 

So many people around the world suffer from blood clots every year. In the US millions of people are affected by deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (the focus of my research, although there are many other types of blood clots). An estimated 100,000-300,000 die every year in the US alone from DVT/PE. It can happen to anyone, politicians, professional athletes, or just your average person.

Among those affected are many famous people including:

David Bloom, late NBC reporter


Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and Secretary of State


Dick Cheney, former Vice President

Regis Philbin, talk show host

Adam McQuaid, NHL player, Boston Bruins

Joey Sindelar, professional golfer

Jamie Reno, journalist 

Serena Williams, professional tennis player

Frida Kahlo, late artist

Jimmy Stewart, late actor, “It’s a Wonderful Life”


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Ten years ago today NBC 10 reporter David Bloom died of a DVT/PE. His wife Melanie is now the spokeswoman for the Coalition to Prevent DVT. For my post this week there was a tribute to David on the Today Show. David was not even 40 years old and he was in good health. His blood clot formed while sitting in a tank overseas. Neither David nor his wife knew of this condition or knew that he was at risk. It’s the perfect example of why people should care about this…it can happen to anyone. It really highlights why this is such a big issue. Take 4 minutes to check it out, its moving.