A Little Heard of Procedure for People Suseptible to Pulmonary Embolism

by on March 7th, 2015
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We, as a family, had a series of emotional situations, which led to a breakup between members. The extent of the emotional trauma was so high, I was beside myself, worrying about my Mother. She has always been healthy, but had been seeing a blood doctor, when it was discovered she had too much blood. It is a rare condition called Polycythemia vera, Polycythemia is when the body produces too many red blood cells, Polycythemia vera is Polycythemia without a cause. She would have to go and have blood drawn by the pints. This blood was then discarded. She was asked to become a test subject to find out why this happens. At the age of 72, she said she was not going to be a guinea pig.

The Beginning Of A Nightmare

One afternoon, she noticed the back of her right leg was hurting. Something inside told her to go to the emergency room, I took her and waited. Neither of us could believe that she had blood clots in her legs. She was put into the hospital, and given Coumadin, also known as Warfarin, a blood thinner. She was in the hospital four days and it was hell for her, she had to quit smoking. After 60 years, this was not easy, she cried, and fussed with the nurses, but she stopped. After her release, we thought it was a one time freak occurrence. About a week later she told me she wanted to go to her doctor and get him to write a prescription for tests to see if she has more blood clots. I waited outside for her, and after waiting for awhile, went to see what was happening. She was coming out of the waiting room where you get x-rays, scans and such. She told me they found more clots and to go home and she would call, because they are putting her in the hospital again. When she did call me, my heart fell to my feet, she was in intensive care, because the clots were in her lungs.They had put her in a wheelchair and ran down the hall with her, worried that the clots would go to her heart. I could not believe it had happened again and this time, she was only saved because she listened to her inner voice. I give God the glory, because she could have died at any minute, when she told me to go home, she was standing there, walking from where she had the scan. She was not looking ill, she did not feel bad, she just had a feeling. I started praying and believing that she would be fine. She did great and came home three days later.

From Hospital To Surgery In No Time At All

Her primary doctor had gone on vacation, when he came back she went for her regular visit. He told her he was thinking about her while he was on vacation. There was an operation that would stop her from ever having to worry about blood clots. This was a God-send, that this doctor would, out of all of his patients, be thinking of my Mom. He gave her the name of a surgeon in a town 15 miles away. It all was so fast, she went to see this surgeon, he set the surgery up for four days later. We arrived at the hospital, knowing that it was an outpatient surgery, did not even know the name of the surgery, only knew it would keep my Mom from having blood clots. The surgery took about 25 minutes, and as soon as she was awake enough from the seditive they gave her, I took her home!

The Greenfield Filter

The Greenfield filter is a filter placed in the inferior vena cava under fluoroscopic guidance. It is used in patients who are particularly vulnerable to pulmonary embolisms, such as those diagnosed with deep venous thrombosis with contraindications to anticoagulation, to prevent venous emboli from entering the pulmonary circulation. The way the surgeon explained it to me was they went in the big vein, (the vena cava, the large vein that carries de-oxygenized blood from the lower part of the body to the right atrium of the heart), they went in with a wire attached to the filter, which is like an umbrella, the filter opens up,and stops any clots from getting through. Should a clot form and start up the vena cava, it will beat against the filter until it comes apart. My Mom is on Warfarin and doing great. She has had no more problems with blood clots. Beware, it is a daily struggle to believe that there will be no more clots. When you are given an answer to a life-threatening situation, it takes a little time to accept that, yes, it is the answer.

Why Is This Not A Better Known Procedure?

I assume many people know about this procedure, but I feel so many more need to know about it, With all of the research I have done on blood clots, I had not one time, came across the name Greenfield Filter.
It needs to be shouted from the rooftops, and every doctor in America, should have information on this life saving procedure. It needs to be on every website that has any information about pulmonary embolisms, To go from being in intensive care to having a 25 minute surgery to never having to worry about clots again, is a wonderful feeling. I suggest that anyone whom, themselves or a loved one has had this problem, make an appointment as soon as possible to ask about the Greenfield Filter. If your doctor does not have the information you need, get it for him, or start calling surgeons until you find one familiar with the filter.
The peace of mind you fill when you finally get it into your head, that this is not going to be a problem again, is the best.


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