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ClotCare is a member organization of the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. Click here to learn more about the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and DVT Awareness Month, which is held each March.
DVT & PE survivor Dave Bock with his beautiful wife
My Story of Having a DVT/Pulmonary Embolism
On March 8, 2008, while visiting from Arizona, I was seriously injured when I slipped and fell in Upland, California. I was rushed to the emergency room of the hospital where I was examined. The emergency room doctor diagnosed me as having sustained lower leg fractures to my tibia and fibula (left ankle bimalleolar fracture). I was in a great deal of pain and the fractures needed to be repaired by open reduction internal fixation surgery. However, the doctor just gave me a prescription for a pain killer, put a cast on my left leg and told me to follow up with my primary care physician upon returning to my home in Arizona.
The next day, my wife and I drove back to Arizona, which was an excruciating, painful and uncomfortable trip. The following day, I went to my primary care doctor who immediately referred me to see an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic doctor examined me and stated that surgery could not be performed at that time due to the delay and resultant soft-tissue swelling.
A few days later on March 14, 2008, I experienced trouble breathing and was taken to the Sun Health Del E. Webb Hospital emergency room. Based on diagnostic test results, I was diagnosed as suffering from a pulmonary embolism brought on by blood clot formations in the veins of the leg near the fracture sites.
I was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital for treatment of a severe pulmonary embolism. After I was admitted to the ICU, my condition rapidly worsened. At 2:34 AM on March 15, 2008, I became cold and clammy and my skin color turned pale. The hospital records indicate that when I was checked, there was no respiration and my eyes were unresponsive and had rolled to the back of my head. Code for respiratory arrest was called and 1.5 to 3 minutes into the Code Blue episode, I became responsive. I was also treated with tPA (clot busting drugs) at this time. On March 17, 2008, I underwent surgery for the placement of an inferior venacaval (IVC) filter.
These blood clots developed as a result of the lower leg fractures I sustained in the accident, which then detached and traveled to my lungs producing shortness of breath, chest pain, and almost death. I was discharged from the hospital on March 19, 2008.
Today, I am still suffering from the ankle fractures and am in a great deal of constant pain. I have missed work and have been unable to enjoy the regular activities of daily life due to the complications from my injury. I believe that the delay in properly treating my ankle injury led to the medical emergency where I almost lost my life.
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