Williams' rep released a statement explaining, "Monday Serena Williams underwent emergency treatment at Cedars for a hematoma she suffered as a result of treatment for a more critical situation."
The statement continues, "Last week, Serena suffered from a pulmonary embolism [a blood clot in the lungs] which was discovered upon her return to L.A. She had been in New York for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot."
The rep added, "Doctors are continuing to monitor her situation closely to avoid additional complications."
Even tip-tip athletes (especially tip-top athletes actually because they put their bodies through so much) can be taken down by a couple errant cells traveling through the blood-stream. We are vulnerable creatures. I'm glad that this embolism was detected and she's receiving treatment and I wish Ms. Williams a speedy recovery. I also wish that everyone confronted with a medical emergency in this country could receive quality care without worrying about bankruptcy. The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are (according to WebMD):
The most common symptoms are:
- Sudden shortness of breath.
- Sharp chest pain that is worse when you cough or take a deep breath.
- A cough that brings up pink, foamy mucus.
If you have symptoms like these, you need to see a doctor right away, especially if they are sudden and severe.
What increases your risk of pulmonary embolism?
Anything that makes you more likely to form blood clots increases your risk of pulmonary embolism. Some people are born with blood that clots too quickly. Other things that can increase your risk include:
- Being inactive for long periods. This can happen when you have to stay in bed after surgery or a serious illness, or when you sit for a long time on a flight or car trip.
- Recent surgery that involved the legs or belly.
- Some diseases, such as cancer, heart failure, stroke, or a severe infection.
- Pregnancy and childbirth (especially if you had a cesarean section).
- Taking birth control pills or hormone therapy.
You are also at higher risk for blood clots if you are an older adult (especially older than 70) or extremely overweight (obese).