Instead of giving and receiving Christmas and Birthday cards from now on the girls and I would like it if you would donate what you can to help us with our campaign. A donation of the price of a stamp and a card will help someone else be educated about this silent killer.
We would like those who know us and maybe those that do not, to donate in memory of a lovely father and my husband, who sadly lost his life to a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). If we had been made aware as a family and had known he was at an increased risk, his death may have been avoided; we did not know how at risk he was.
Venous Thrombolism (VTE) is the collective term used to describe two conditions; PE and DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Here are some statistics to give you an idea of the gravity of the condition.
* 1 in 4 people die from causes related to blood clots.
* #1 cause of preventable death in hospitals in VTE
* Estimated 20,000 deaths from VTE in the UK
(Thrombosis UK, 2015)
Kerry previously had a lower leg DVT in 2007 from a flight to Australia. We did not know this would increase his risk of developing another one within 10 years. We have learnt that the signs and symptoms that some people experience are not always written in the texts books or on NHS websites. It is also possible to have a PE and not present with the typical clinical signs and symptoms, this was the case with Kerry, only showing typical symptoms the day he sadly lost his life.
Please see the NICE guidelines on managing patients with a suspected PE, these are also worth being aware of should you ever end up in hospital. This will inform you of the care pathway that should be followed. We also advise if you ever have to go into hospital, take a notepad and pen to write down the names of all professionals that see you, their roles, and the times things occur. I hope you will never need it but in our case it would have been invaluable.
We hope to initiate a campaign that this information is spread from GP to patient and that the patient is made aware of the seriousness of their previous condition and its possible reoccurrence in future years. Patients should be encouraged to tell their family, and not avoid telling them for fear of worrying them.
We sadly did not know any of the information that we now know, we believed once his DVT was treated in 2007/8 it was the end of it, this was not the case. While it is too late for us, we want to raise awareness so families can do more to try and prevent the death of a loved one. From this experience with multiple trips to the doctors, GPs perhaps do not always look at the full past history when presented with another condition, in Kerry's case, a chest infection. We would like to try and address this by improving awareness for patients and GPs by encouraging them to be more alert to the increased risk of developing VTE for a second time.
PE 's can show up as a cough as well as a fever, he was also in bed for several days and this was not picked up on the second visit to the doctors even though his cough had subsided and his temperature was down; he was still not feeling much better.
Some of the typical signs and sympoms associated with this condition are;
* Unexplained pain can be the only sign
* Swelling, including the ankle or foot
* Redness or noticeable discolouration
* Unexplained shortness of breath
* Rapid breathing
* Chest pain (may be worse upon deep breath)
* Rapid heart rate
* Light headedness or passing out
(Thrombosis UK, 2015)
Please donate what you can, every little helps.