Chris Bosh and son

Miami Heat center Chris Bosh will miss the rest of the NBA season after he was diagnosed with Pulmonary Embolism (blood clots in his lungs). The 30-year-old Dallas native was diagnosed with the potentially fatal blood disorder last week after complaining of chest discomfort while vacationing in Haiti with his wife, Adrienne Bosh, and Heat teammate Dwyane Wade.

Someone uploaded this photo of Bosh and his son, Jackson on Bosh’s Instagram page on Saturday. The caption reads: “Thank you for all the messages, love, and support. It has truly lifted my spirits through this tough process.”

Pulmonary embolism is associated with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition that causes blood clots to form in the lower legs. DVT is brought on by sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Former Portland Trail Blazers star Jerome Kersey died of a blood clot in his lung on Wednesday at age 52, ESPN reports. And Brooklyn forward Mirza Teletovic is out for the season after doctors found blood clots in his lungs.

Bosh’s Miami Heat teammate Udonis Haslem recently revealed he suffered from pulmonary embolism during the 2010-2011 season.

PE is preventable if caught early, but treatment with blood thinners can take months. Doctors usually order bed rest or decreased mobility initially to prevent blood clots from breaking off in the deep veins of the legs and traveling to the lungs or the heart.

Anyone can be diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis. Risk factors that predispose people to DVTs include pregnancy, obesity, dehydration, crushing injuries, strokes or heart conditions.

Patients with DVTs or PE are usually young (in their 30s and 40s), and otherwise healthy and athletic. You are at higher risk for a DVT or PE if you sit for long periods of time without stretching your legs or walking, regardless of your health status.

A deep vein thrombosis occurs when the blood in the veins clots (gels) due to an obstruction such as when sitting with your legs tucked under you. A clot then breaks off in the leg and travels through the veins to the heart where it is pumped into the lungs causing an obstruction in a pulmonary artery that could lead to sudden death.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs in the veins because the blood in your veins is not under as much pressure as the blood in your arteries. The slow moving venous blood is easier to clot if it is obstructed such as when sitting with your legs tucked under you.

When you stand up and walk around, your venous blood flow starts moving normally again and the clot loosens and breaks off to make the slow trip to your heart and lungs.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS of DVT and pulmonary embolism:

  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, which may occur only while standing or walking
  • Warmth in the skin of the affected leg
  • Red or discolored skin in the affected leg
  • Visible surface veins
  • Leg fatigue
  • Chest pain when inhaling
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anxiety or feeling uneasy
  • Sweating
  • Feeling faint or lightheaded
  • If you have any of the above signs and symptoms, it is important that you get to a doctor or emergency room right away! If you are athletic, do not assume that the signs & symptoms are just muscle pain.

    The best way to avoid getting DVTs, which can lead to Pulmonary emboli, is to get up and move around at least every 2 hours while you’re at your desk or on a plane.

    Always be mindful of the position of your legs when sitting for long periods of time. Your legs should be slightly forward and your back straight.

    Avoid leaning forward when sitting at your desk. Keep your back straight. If you can’t read the words on your monitor, increase the font size.

    Chris Bosh and son

    Drink plenty of water. Doctors suggest drinking 8 cups of water a day. The air on planes is much dryer than on the ground, and dry air increases dehydration in the body.

    Treatment for DVT includes medications such as blood thinners (Coumadin or Heparin, etc). Some doctors may prescribe Aspirin once a day since aspirin contains a blood thinner. Doctors might also insert an IVF (inferior vena cava filter) to trap blood clots before they reach the heart and lungs. You may also be advised to wear compression stockings to decrease the swelling in your legs.

    This has been your medical minute.

    More Info On The Web

    How Do You Know if it’s Pulmonary Embolism – Every Day Health

    Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in Lung) – eMedicineNet

    Pulmonary Embolism – WebMD

    Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) – eMedicine Health