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Nancy Grace's Post-Partum Health Scare

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The anchor was hospitalized for blood clots in her lungs just seven days after giving birth to twins.

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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.

  • Exercise.

  • Drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.

  • Wear support-top pantyhose to keep your blood flowing, especially if you're on bed rest.
Above all, trust your instincts. If you don't feel right, don't be afraid to call your doctor and check in.



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12 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 15, 2007, 3:08 PM

This is so scary. I did not know about this. I am pregnant so I am going to lookout for these warning signs. Get well, Grace.

FVLer November 17, 2007, 9:46 AM

As a PE surviver, gotta say, not all DVTs start in the leg. Abdominal DVTs don’t hurt, so really, if you have no history of asthma and start having trouble inhaling air, coupled with chest or upper back pain, see a dr!

Darcey January 6, 2008, 9:02 AM

I ha bi-lateral PE’s in April 07 and to date still feel pain in my lung along with shortness of breath. I cannot find any further information about recovery time and I am at my wits end. My PE’s were caused by the birth control pill, YAZ, that is the only thing after all the testing was done the doctor could come up with. As a side note, my gyno told me after all was said and done and now that I am on blood thinners, I could get back on BC pills, which my hospital Dr advised me to never take any estrogen pill again. Nice Huh!

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