The anchor was hospitalized for blood clots in her lungs just seven days after giving birth to twins.
Nancy Grace was hospitalized Sunday in Atlanta after developing two blood clots in her lungs, which doctors say were a result of Grace's pregnancy. Apparently this is more common than you'd think. Pulmonary embolism (when a blood clot forms in the legs and travels to
the lungs) is a leading cause of maternal death in the United States. "Being pregnant or recently giving birth definitely puts you at higher risk," says OB/GYN and friend of Mom•Logic Dr. Hilda Hutcherson.
A recent UCLA study found up to 7% of women develop blood clots during pregnancy. Forward these warning signs, risk factors, and preventative measures to any pregnant woman you know:
Dr. Hilda says the following warning signs merit immediate medical attention:
• Tenderness in the back of your knees.
• 'Heat' in one leg that makes it hot to the touch.
• Swelling in your legs (especially if one is swollen but the other one's not).
• Shortness of breath. "Don't just chalk it up to fatigue," warns Dr. Hilda.
Who's at highest risk?
- Anyone with family history of DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
- Women who've had clots in the past. "If you developed clots when you went on the birth control pill, for instance, tell your doctor—there are things your OB can do to treat you during pregnancy," she advises.
- Women over 35.
- Women with pre-eclampsia.
- Women on bed rest.
- Women with varicose veins.
- Women who are overweight or obese.
How can women minimize their risk?
Although she says clots aren't 100% preventable, Dr. Hutcherson adds that there are some things you can do to lower your odds of developing a clot.
- Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Wear support-top pantyhose to keep your blood flowing, especially if you're on bed rest.