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Journalist’s widow describes death from blood clot

“Press Pass,” the blog for NBC news show “Meet the Press,” features an interview with Melanie Bloom – widow of late NBC news correspondent David Bloom, and founder of the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Melanie describes David’s death nine years ago from deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in one of the larger veins. He suffered a pulmonary embolism when a blood clot from a vein in his leg migrated to his lungs.

David was embedded with troops in Iraq at the time, and Melanie describes the “horrible middle-of-the-night phone call that nobody wants to get” informing her of his death.

She had been surprised to learn that it wasn’t a result of enemy fire or explosives, although she later learned that his being in Iraq likely led to the death.

Melanie said that through her subsequent research on blood clots, she learned that some risk factors may not be extremely dangerous in themselves, but three or more of those risk factors combined can present a significant health hazard.

David, for example, had been immobile for a long period of time on the flight to Iraq, and had been sleeping with his knees curled beneath his chin while out with the troops. He’d been dehydrated from being out in the desert. All those factors, combined with a blood coagulant disorder of which he’d been unaware, combined to bring about his death at the age of 39.

Melanie points out that women are at higher risk of blood clots when they’re on birth control, as well as when they’re pregnant.

While most birth control pills carry an inherent risk of blood clots, some pills have demonstrably higher risks as borne out by studies. A number of studies, including one funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, show that birth control pills containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone carry up to three times a greater risk of blood clots than other contraceptives on the market.

Lopez McHugh is currently litigating cases involving drospirenone and increased risk of blood clots. Drospirenone is found in Beyaz, Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella.

See the interview here: http://presspass.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/28/10894518-press-pass-melanie-bloom