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Tue Sep 12, 2017, 10:44 AM

Spectator in class noticed lecturer showed signs of a potentially fatal blood clot. It was.

Retweeted by David Fahrenthold: https://twitter.com/Fahrenthold

Spectator in class noticed lecturer showed signs of a potentially fatal blood clot. It was, and she saved her life

‘How do you thank someone for saving your life?’

By Michael Levenson GLOBE STAFF SEPTEMBER 11, 2017

While attending a lecture on ethics at Bentley University, Dr. Iris Jaffe had an ethical dilemma of her own. In the end, she made a decision that might have saved the life of Jill Brown, the professor who was giving the talk. ... Brown had opened her lecture by explaining that she was on crutches because of minor foot surgery six weeks earlier. And as Brown spoke, Jaffe noticed that even though Brown was sitting, she was short of breath and having trouble finishing her sentences. That, she knew, was not normal.

Jaffe’s concern grew when she looked down at Brown’s leg and noticed it was swollen up to the knee. Jaffe became increasingly alarmed when she saw, from her seat three rows back, that the veins in Brown’s neck were bulging. ... Jaffe, a cardiologist at Tufts Medical Center, realized that Brown, a Bentley professor, was showing the classic signs of a pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal blood clot in the lung.

“Now I’m sitting in the class and thinking, ‘What am I going to do?’ ” Jaffe said. “I’m not her physician. I just noticed these things. Maybe she has some reasons for all of this. Who am I? I’m somebody in her class. Should I say something? Maybe it’s none of my business.” ... When the class — part of a women’s leadership conference — broke for lunch, Jaffe told the woman sitting next to her, an insurance executive, what she had seen. The executive said she, too, had noticed Brown’s veins bulging.

Jaffe made a decision. She would risk embarrassment and tell Brown about her concerns. Jaffe gingerly approached Brown, as the professor sat alone, waiting for her lunch. ... “I have an ethical dilemma,” Jaffe told Brown, a management professor who studies business ethics and strategic leadership. “Can I run it by you?” ... “Great! Dish! Tell me about it!” Brown said, assuming that Jaffe was coming to her for advice on a juicy problem from the corporate world. ... “I’m a physician, but I’m not your physician, and I know nothing about your medical history,” Jaffe said. “But I’m concerned you have a blood clot in your lungs and you need to be seen right away.”

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.

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Reply Spectator in class noticed lecturer showed signs of a potentially fatal blood clot. It was. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Sep 2017 OP
no_hypocrisy Sep 2017 #1
More_Cowbell Sep 2017 #2
Lisa0825 Sep 2017 #3

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 10:55 AM

1. Something like that happened with me in 2010.

I was the producer of The Morning Show, a progressive radio talk show in NJ, always listening to the host for quality control.

He was speaking personally, about how he spent 4 hours each way driving his daughter to camp the day before. His leg was sore, more than sore. It ached. He could barely stand.

I IM'd the host and told him not to panic, but IMO, it appeared he had a blood clot in his leg. Told him to immediately go to the ER after the show. He took my advice and was diagnosed with a blood clot in his calf the size of a silver dollar. He had to self-administer shots of Heparin for more than 10 days. He's been on blood thinners since that time.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 11:52 AM

2. Good for you!

And for the doctor in this story.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 12:27 PM

3. I kind of had the opposite story...

I thought I had a clot, and someone kept reassuring me that I didn't.

People - even medical professionals - need to be more educated and aware of DVTs and the risk of Pulmonary Embolism. I delayed treatment for what turned out to be a DVT because another medical condition had overlapping symptoms (aches and pains). My instinct told me I had a clot, but I was told to wait because the treatment for the (already diagnosed) condition would make me feel better (prednisone - anti-inflammatory). When that medication made all my aches and pains go away EXCEPT the pain in my left calf, and then it erupted in purple splotches, I drove myself to the ER, and coughed up blood on the way. I could have died because I didn't trust my instincts. Medical Science is great, but no one else can feel what you are feeling. We have to be our own best advocates.

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