Doctors wait for Miami Heat Chris Bosh's test results to make diagnosis
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra: Everybody is jumping the gun
MIAMI – Miami Heat fans' possible enemy Friday: Red hot blood clotting or coagulation.
The blockage can have some serious consequences, but Erik Spoelstra said that Bosh's situation is not life threatening. Miami's Heat Nation loves 30-year-old Chris Bosh so much that the situation at South Miami Hospital was frightening.
"He is seeing a couple of more specialists today and we will have more information tonight or tomorrow" Spoelstra said.
Doctors told ESPN Friday that they were waiting for the results of tests to make a diagnosis. Spoelstra added that Bosh is in great care. "The most important thing" is that his life is not at risk, Spoelstra said.
"We are just staying focused on positivity and keeping him healthy," his wife Adrienne Bosh said on Twitter. She added that her husband was "doing O.K."
Miami New Times' Chris Joseph was right when he asked fans Friday morning not to get alarmed just yet.
"Y'all need to stop Wikipediaing pulmonary embolism and just wait," Joseph said on Twitter. Local 10 News' advise: Let's just stay away from Wikipedia and learn from the doctors themselves.
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OUR STAR was averaging 21.2 points and 7.0 rebounds this season. He has three children -- Dylan Skye, Trinity and Jackson -- with Adrianne Bosh.
LEARN THIS: Athletes are at greater risk, because symptoms often become undiagnosed.
"Inn the case of athletes it's caused by trauma," Zamora said. "So if you have calf trauma or you get bumped, you can get a blood clot that travels through the veins toward the heart and into your lungs."
An abnormal clot that forms in a vein may restrict the return of blood to the heart and can result in pain and swelling as the blood gathers behind it, according the American Society of Hematology.
"If they're dehydrated, they have slower circulation" and "if on top of that, they have trauma in the legs, that can cause it," the sports cardiology specialist said. He added that "most well trained athletes have slow heart rates ... and that triad can actually cause trouble."
DOCTORS SAY: A pulmonary embolism, also known as as pulmonary embolus, is when a blood clot travels through the blood stream and blocks a vein in the lungs, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is what the Bosh was getting tested for at South Miami Hospital, the Miami Herald reported.
ATHLETES SURVIVING SERIOUS HEALTH CHALLENGES
Serena Williams: She underwent emergency treatment in 2011. Surgery may have prompted the risk. She required 18 stitches, after she cut her foot on a shard of glass.
Ervin "Magic" Johnson: He announced he was infected with HIV in 1991. He was voted into the All-Star game and named MVP in 1992.
GOOD WISHES FOR BOSH: Click here to sign the card
"Prayers up for my big dog Chris Bosh," Mario Chalmers said. "Everything gonna b fine."
When the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly the risks for death or serious complications are lower, Mount Sinai Medical Center's Dr. Carlos Zamora said.
But if the blood clots go untreated as in the case of Portland Trail Blazers star Jerome Kersey earlier this week, the results can be deadly. He was 52. Kersey's risk was higher because he had undergone knee surgery.
"About 100,000 people in the U.S. die every year when this is not diagnosed correctly," Zamora said.
The general symptoms include shortness of breath and cough. They also include chest pain. Bosh reportedly complained of pain in his ribs following the All-Star Game in New York and a short vacation in Haiti.
There is uncertainty about how long the issue had been bothering Bosh. He played hard and did a lot of traveling. It couldn't have been easy.
Some of the tests that Bosh may have undergone at South Miami Hospital include blood work to check for inherited clotting disorders, chest X-rays to rule out conditions that mimic the disease, an ultrasound to detect clots in thigh veins, and CT or MRI scans to outline pulmonary arteries.
"You start first on the legs," Zamora said. He added that the next step is to find the location of the blood clot.
The most effective test, but also the most risky is the Pulmonary Angiogram. It requires that a flexible tube with a special dye be inserted into a large vein -- usually in your groin. They dye can affect kidney function or change heart rhythm.
According to Mayo Clinic doctors, some patients may be asked to inhale a small amount of radio active material, while a camera takes pictures of air in the lungs. This test is known as a V/Q lung scan.
Serena Williams was treated for pulmonary embolism in 2011. She responded well to treatment and was out for six months. She won the Austrian Open with a victory over Maria Sharapova in Melbourne last month.
Treatment options for pulmonary embolism patients vary with severity. They include prescribing medications or surgical procedures that could put Bosh out for the remaining of the season.
"The number one treatment is blood thinners which should be instituted right away," Zamora said.
Blood thinning medications can prevent new clots from forming. Zamora said patients usually have to sit out at least for three months and in some cases up to a year, while on blood thinners to avoid simple scabs to form. This means contact sports are limited or prohibited.
In life-threatening situations, clot-busting drugs can dissolve a clot, but may cause severe bleeding. If the clot in the lung is very large, a doctor may insert a tube through blood vessels.
Zamora said the treatment approach also depends on how much the blood clot has affected the heart and lung function.
"In many cases it's resolved," Zamora said. "The clot gets dissolved and they definitely can go back to their regular activity later on."
While Bosh is missing the game against New York Friday night, the results of the test could determine if he will have to miss the rest of the season. But basketball is really not the focus. Fans want Bosh to get well soon. The rest will take care of itself.
"Get well soon Chris Bosh," a Sun Sports Heat tweet said. " You Know Heat Nation and NBA fans everywhere are rooting for you." That was the general message Friday.
How a clot can become a pulmonary embolism
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