HEALTH: The ABCs of Pulmonary Embolism > Clutch Magazine

The ABCs of

Pulmonary Embolism

Thursday Dec 29, 2011 – by

It was recently revealed that Heavy D died of a pulmonary embolism, and while his obvious weight issue didn’t help matters, it has to be noted that anyone can be at risk for this potentially deadly condition.

Here are the facts supported by preventive measures that will hopefully help you minimize the risk of developing fatal blood clots.

  • It’s advisable to take anti-clotting medication after having major surgery. Any operation especially to the leg and hip area tends to increase the likelihood for blood clots. In cases where your doctor feels you are at risk, they will prescribe heparin immediately after surgery.
  • If you find yourself on extended bed rest due to illness or as a result of the aftermath of surgery you can relieve yourself by donning pneumatic stockings or wearing compression. Both accessories help to dramatically encourage blood flow to those regions, thanks to their gripping tendencies.
  • Being on a long airplane ride can take a toll on our bodies, due to the fact that we are immobile for an extended period of time. Long distance flights can be particularly challenging and that’s why it’s recommended that you try to get up and move around the plane every hour. Walking up and down the aisle or even rotating your ankles while you sit can make all the difference in the world. Anything to get your blood flowing highly reduces the chances of clotting. Perhaps if Heavy D had been armed with this information he would be alive today, since it was reported that his embolism was probably formed during his flight from Wales where he took part in the MJ tribute concert back to LA.
  • Staying hydrated is another important tip for frequent fliers. Alcohol is not your friend when soliciting the friendly skies. Neither are caffeinated beverages. Drinking plenty of water is the only surefire way to stay hydrated without the risk of a pulmonary embolism.
  • Finally, take control of your health and educate yourself when it comes to your family history. If you are overweight, that also increases your chances of developing pulmonary embolisms. Smoking also affects your chances and taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapies can make blood clotting a strong possibility. It’s always best to consult with your doctor to figure out the best options that wont end up complicating or compromising your health.