After her husband, NBC News correspondent
David Bloom, died from complications of
deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) while covering the
war in Iraq, Melanie Bloom felt the need to
Following David’s death in April 2003, Melanie
became more aware of DVT and pulmonary embolism
(PE), a potentially fatal complication of DVT.
She learned about the risk factors for this
condition—such as restricted mobility—that may
have led to the development of David’s fatal
blood clot. Melanie also learned that
David had a silent risk factor, Factor V
Leiden—an inherited blood coagulant disorder
that can increase a person's risk of DVT.
Having three or more risk factors for DVT may
put someone at risk and could lead to a
potentially fatal PE. David had four.
Most important to family caregivers, Melanie
also learned that DVT can be prevented if you
are aware of the risk factors, signs and
symptoms, and speak to your doctor.
Melanie sat down with Editor-In-Chief Gary Barg
to talk about some very important health issues
of which family caregivers need to become aware.
Gary Barg: I was a big fan
of your husband's work on NBC and it was a shock
to hear how he died in Iraq. It was
actually the first time I heard about DVT.
Melanie Bloom: Gary,
me too. I had never heard of it before; so the
most important person in your life died from
something you do not even know about. It is
pretty hard to swallow that. And thank you
for saying you enjoyed his work. That
means a lot.
Gary Barg: Can you tell me a
little bit about what happened to him?
Melanie Bloom: My
husband, David Bloom, was covering the War in
Iraq for NBC News. He was 39-years-old and had
developed pain in his legs, but he was in the
middle of a war zone; so he really did not pay
much attention to leg cramps. But he died only
two days after mentioning leg cramps. DVT
refers to deep veins of the legs and when it
hits the lungs it is called a PE; and that is,
sadly, what took my husband's life. After it
traveled to the lungs, he didn't have a chance.
DVT is the same clot that actually originates in
the legs and is often fatal when that clot or a
piece of it breaks loose and then travels to the
lungs. When it hits the lungs, even though it is
still the same clot, it is called a pulmonary
embolism or PE.
Gary Barg: DVT is a
very important topic of caregivers to
understand. Can you tell me what symptoms we
family caregivers need to be looking out for?