Skip to comments.Disorder Magnifies Blood Clot Risk
Posted on 06/10/2008 11:42:39 PM PDT by neverdem
When David Bloom, 39, went to Iraq in 2003 to cover the war for NBC News, his wife, Melanie, naturally feared for his safety. Would a bullet or a bomb claim him? A land mine? An ambush?
Instead it was a blood clot lodged in his lungs that ended his life. Ms. Bloom subsequently learned that her husband carried a genetic abnormality, factor V Leiden, that greatly increased his risk for developing blood clots.
Mr. Bloom had three other risk factors for clots: a long plane ride to Iraq, erratic eating habits that could have caused dehydration, and cramped sleeping space in Army vehicles. But had he not had this genetic quirk or had he known about it and the higher risks it carried he might have escaped his fate.
A Hidden Problem
Factor V Leiden (pronounced factor five) is the most common hereditary clotting disorder in the United States, present in 2 percent to 7 percent of Caucasians, less often in Hispanics and rarely in Asians and African-Americans.
The disorder accounts for 20 percent and to 40 percent of cases of deep vein thrombosis, or D.V.T., the clot that Mr. Bloom developed in his leg before it broke loose and traveled to his lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism that caused his death.
Factor V Leiden is more often than not a hidden disorder, until someone in a family often someone like Mr. Bloom, who was athletic and healthy develops a deep vein thrombosis or another unexpected clot. Because screening for this problem is not routine, factor V Leiden is usually not detected until several members of a family develop clots or one person develops a succession of clots.
Even then, a possible carrier of the gene defect may not be tested.
Dr. Rinah Shopnick...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Not unlike the one for quitting smoking or a torn ACL.
fish oil and baby aspirin keeps the blood thin.
Thanks for posting because the public needs to be aware of Factor V Leiden disorder. I have this problem and had my first DVT as a teenager. Luckily I have not had a second occurance in over thirty years.
It’s scary that a long plane or car ride could become fatal, but knowing about it could save some lives.
Recently discovered I’m in that 2 - 7 % category. Found out it’s more common in Scandinavian bloodlines. So far an aspirin a day keeps the clots away.
God forbid. Other folks can't be categorized.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Same here. Wound up with multiple blood clots in both lungs back in 2005 and spent 30 days in the hospital, most of it in ICU. This is serious stuff and not something to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately that doesn't work for Leiden Factor V (or Factor V Leiden as it's sometimes called). It's not about "platelet stickiness" or blood "thinness" -- it's about the body's severe overreaction in production of clotting factor. My husband was hospitalized with clots throughout his lungs at the age of 30, and we discovered it was due to this gene. The clot developed after a 15-hour drive to the AirVenture air show in OshKosh, WI. We didn't realize it until two weeks later when he woke up coughing up blood.
My husband is homozygous for the gene which makes him 80x more likely to develop a clot while just sitting in a chair than you or I (well, except for maybe BigBobber, who's a member of the club too, lol). The only treatment is anticoagulant medication and watching your Vitamin K (think anything green) content very carefully. Getting his INR number regulated was very difficult for us, but we finally did it and got him back in the air (he's a recreational pilot). I'm writing an article about our experiences for the next APSFA newsletter. Here's the current one for anyone who cares to take a read:
(APS is a similar genetic condition to Leiden Factor V.)
Unfortunately, the presence of the gene in him has increased our life insurance costs drastically; his new policy is 3x the cost that it would have been if he had signed it the day before he was hospitalized (we were in the process of upping our coverage when this happened). The "genetic non-discrimination" bill that Bush recently signed is a good thing for us; people with the condition have been turned down for health insurance, and we were worried that would happen to my husband too if we ever had to switch from group insurance to private.
You’re so right about the coumadin and Vitamin K consumption. It’s amazing how much impact your diet can have on your INR. We limit ourselves to one serving of Vitamin K rich vegetables (usually collards) per week. We really do miss all the broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, etc. that we used to love to eat.
We found that my husband is ok as long as he avoids:
spinach (and kale and collard greens)
and brussels sprouts
He can have almost everything else in any quantity he wants, and we’ve adjusted his Warfarin so that he can (he’s on 15mg so that he can eat some greens). He has one small “cheat” portion a week, whether it’s part of a salad, lettuce on tacos or a couple brussels sprounts (which he loves). We’ve found that alcohol affects his INR too, so he tries to have a glass of bourbon after work the same number of times every week.
I also have found ways to cook differently, like offering shredded zucchini and alfalfa sprouts on tacos instead of lettuce, and finding a million different ways to cook the same old veggies. The zucchini somewhat tastes like lettuce, and the sprouts provide the “crunch”.
It’s a lifestyle now. :)
Thanks for the ping, neverdem. Interesting, being of partial Finnish ancestry. Thanks Diver Dave. Great thread. Thanks to all contributors.
I had deep vein thrombosis about five years ago, and it nearly killed me. I was fortunate enough that the clot lodged in my lower abdomen and stayed there instead of travelling to a vital organ.
I thank God I’m still here. My Daughter Samantha will be turning three this August - a blessing I almost missed.
“They suspect that it may have been caused by the recent traveling, a blood clot may have formed and traveled to the heart or brain..... He was a very loving, caring man, and also a Christian. So Im sure hes just having a great time right now :), fishing his butt off.”
From Bonnie (wife) and Brandi (daughter) of FReeper Michigander who died suddenly/recently at age 47...here...
We have a friend, and he is in his early 60’s.
He and his wife are well retired, and their daughter is in the travel business. They own several timeshares around the world.
So the daughter gets them great travel deals and away they fly.
He has had 3 of these problems in the last 3 years. Two were after long flights and one was during a long 3 week of driving around the western US.
His Dad died of a blood clot problem when he was in his late 40’s.
So is this test a standard test and how reliable is it?
Thanks as usual.
Thanks for your informative posts here. I just had blood clot in left leg in mid-April. I’m now on 4mg coumadin with blood draws every 3 wks. Don’t have any idea what all this means, and plan to have a long talk with my MD in two weeks about my condition. I want to know if I’m stable or not. Need answers since I need surgery some point.
Thanks again for info
Good grief! I was on 6 gm of fish oil and numerous supplements that thinned blood, yet I had a blood clot in mid-April in spite of the fact that I had just worked in yard for several hrs.
One never knows.
I heard about factor V Leiden before this story, but you or he needs to consult a hematologist. There are other clotting disorders.
Some insight into freeper Michigander's possible (apparent?) cause of death.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.