Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - 12

7

THINGS

You (Probably)
Didn't Know
About SERENA

WILLIAMS

1 She beat her sister Venus to win the 2017

Australian Open shortly after she found out
she was pregnant.

2 She's married to Reddit co-founder Alexis
Ohanian, and their daughter, Alexis Olympia
Ohanian Jr., has more than 260,000 followers on Instagram.

3 Her middle name is Jameka.
4 She's 15 months younger than her sister
Venus.

5 She sometimes rocks out to David Bowie's
Fame during challenging workouts.

6 Other than tennis, her favorite sport to
watch is gymnastics.

7 She has made guest appearances on a
number of TV shows, including Law &
Order: Special Victims Unit, ER and Drop
Dead Diva.
Sources: CNN, ESPN, IMDb, Instagram,
USA Today, Vogue

12

FAL L 2018

A Surprisingly
COMMON THREAT

Between her 2011 and 2017 cases,
Williams has helped to shine a
light on pulmonary embolisms.
The condition usually develops
from blood clots in the legs known
as deep vein thrombosis, which
break off and travel through the
bloodstream to the lungs.
Although those kinds of blood
clots may not be well-known to
the general public, they're actually
pretty common.
Each year, blood clots affect up
to 900,000 people in the U.S., and
about 100,000 people die from
them, according to the National
Blood Clot Alliance. That's greater
than the number of people who
die from AIDS, breast cancer and
motor vehicle crashes combined,
according to the group.

"This is the third-leading vascular disease," says Mary Cushman,
MD, who previously served on the
board of directors of the American
Heart Association. "You have
heart attack, stroke and then deep
vein thrombosis."

Causes, Symptoms
AND TREATMENT

So, how do you know whether you
have deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism?
For deep vein thrombosis, symptoms can include swelling (usually
of one leg or one arm), pain,
warmth or redness.
For pulmonary embolism, symptoms can include shortness of
breath, chest pain that gets worse
with deep breathing, coughing
or coughing up blood, and feeling lightheaded.
"The problem is that you don't
always have all the symptoms,
and a pulmonary embolism can
occur without any symptoms,"
Cushman says.
If you do experience any of these
symptoms, act fast.
"If you look down and one leg is
bigger than the other, don't just let
it go," Cushman says. "You need to
get it checked out, and you don't
want to wait too long, because the
clot could break free and go to
your lungs and kill you."
Fortunately, there are effective
treatment options for blood clots.
Among the most common are
anticoagulants or blood thinners,
which "interfere with the blood's
ability to clot," says Jack Ansell,
MD, past chair and now emeritus
member of the National Blood Clot
Alliance's Medical & Scientific
Advisory Board. "Anticoagulants
don't break down the blood clot.
They simply prevent more clots
from forming. And the body's
own system then over time breaks
down the clot."

TOP LEFT CLOCKWISE: GETTY/NEILSON BARNARD; GETTY/CLIVE BRUNSKILL; INSTAGRAM @ SERENAWILLIAMS

Clockwise from
right: A pregnant
Serena Williams
with husband,
Alexis Ohanian;
triumphant on
the court; with
daughter Alexis
Olympia.

"That's when they found several
blood clots," Williams said. "They
told me that they had to check me
in immediately or else ... it wasn't
going to be a good result."
Williams fully recovered and
returned to the court in time to
win two gold medals in the 2012
London Olympics-in addition to
the two she had won previously,
in 2000 in Sydney and 2008 in
Beijing. (Beyond the Olympics,
Williams has won 39 Grand Slam
titles: 23 singles titles, 14 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles.)
In 2017, happy news was followed by another health scare
when Williams gave birth to a baby
girl. Immediately after, doctors
had to fight more blood clots in her
lungs, followed by about a week of
complications including a ruptured
C-section wound due to coughing.
Fortunately, Williams recovered
again, and now both she and her
daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian
Jr., are doing well.



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