Grammy-winning singer Tori Kelly was hospitalized with blood clots over the weekend, ABC confirmed Tuesday.
The singer was taken to hospital on Sunday night after collapsing while out with friends and is being treated at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. She has reportedly been diagnosed with blood clots in the legs, also known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and blood clots in the veins of the lungs called pulmonary embolism, or PE, according to TMZwhich was the first to report the news.
Now, doctors are raising awareness about this life-threatening condition and say that even young people should be aware of the signs and symptoms.
“It can absolutely happen in young people,” said ABC chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton.
“This is personal for me, my daughter had one two years ago,” she added. “It’s a medical emergency.”
The symptoms of blood clots depend on their location. When a blood clot affects the deep veins in the arms or legs, it can cause pain, swelling and redness. Blood clots affecting the veins of the lungs can be more worrisome, as they can cause shortness of breath, a rapid heart rate, and fainting.
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“In terms of signs and symptoms, if you’re talking about the leg, it’s usually some focal tenderness or redness or swelling in the back of the leg, the calf,” Ashton said. “If you’re talking about a blood clot in the lung, it’s shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain that’s worse (with) breathing.”
Depending on the severity of the blood clots in the lungs, intensive care unit care may be required.
That Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 900,000 people a year are affected by blood clots in the United States alone. According to the CDC, approximately 25% of people with blood clots in the lungs experience sudden death.
These blood clots can happen to anyone, but they typically occur in people who have cancer, clotting disorders, recent surgery, are immobile, take birth control, or use testosterone supplements.
According to National Blood Clot Alliance100,000-300,000 deaths from blood clots occur annually, which is more significant than the number of people who lose their lives from AIDS, breast cancer and motor vehicle accidents combined.
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Doctors say the best way to prevent a blood clot from forming is to move around as much as possible. Doing the recommended weekly 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle-strengthening exercise will help. Avoid sitting for more than four hours, especially on long trips. Get up and move at least every hour when traveling by plane, train or bus. Do heel-toe exercises or circle your feet if you can’t move around.
Be sure to drink plenty of water and wear loose-fitting clothing when traveling. Talk to your doctor if you start hormone replacement medications such as birth control, estrogen or testosterone supplements.
If you’re at higher risk for a DVT — including people who have recently had surgery or have a clotting disorder — doctors recommend using compression stockings or medications that prevent blood from clotting, called anticoagulants.
If you develop a DVT or PE, you will be treated with medicines to help your blood stop clotting. These drugs work very quickly. If the drugs don’t work, severe cases may involve surgery.
Alina Mitina, DO, is an emergency medicine resident at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, New York, and Alexander Garcia, DO, is an internal medicine resident at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. Both are members of the ABC News Medical Unit.