The widow of NBC news correspondent David Bloom is telling Iowans about the medical condition that killed her husband. David Bloom was covering the war in Iraq when he died suddenly in April of 2003 from complications related to what’s called deep-vein thrombosis, or a blood clot that developed in his leg, and then traveled to his lungs.
Melanie Bloom says her husband’s death was a "bitter irony," because they knew he was on a dangerous assignment covering the war, and then something inside his own body killed him. Bloom says she first thought DVT was some "freak occurrence" but found out that it causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined, 300,000 deaths each year.
Bloom says anyone at any given time can be stricken, depending on what’s happening in their life. Bloom says her husband was only 39-years old and in good health, but he had restricted mobility, one of the big risk factors. Bloom says it’s sometimes called "economy class syndrome" for people who travel long distances on airplanes. In her husband’s case, he was riding in a tank for long periods of time with his legs pulled to his chin, restricting his circulation. Her husband was also dehydrated, another of the many risk factors. Bloom says there are many other factors that determine if you might suffer from DVT
Bloom says if someone is overweight, on birth control pills, on hormone replacement therapy, or pregnant, those are all things that could lead to DVT. Bloom says someone with multiple risk factors that takes a long airplane flight is at a high risk. Bloom says DVT can happen at any time depending on the risk factors, or be a slower onset, such as someone who is in the hospital with cancer.
Bloom says she’s tried to turn her husband’s death into a positive by educating people about the risk factors for DVT. She says there was a "real miss" between the number of lives lost and the awareness of the problem, so Bloom says she decided to use her husband’s tragic story to try and inform people and prevent another tragedy. Bloom says you can find out more about the risk factors for DVT on the website
Bloom says you can go to: preventdvt.org to find out more about risk factors and also ask questions. Or she says you can ask your talk to your doctor about possible risk factors. Melanie Bloom currently lives in New York with their three children – a six year-old daughter and 11-year-old twin daughters. Bloom spoke at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines Thursday and will speak in Iowa City tonight.