Medusa’s Clot: The Ill Humor of Pulmonary Embolism

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Medusa's Clot

IT IS ONE OF THE TOP 10 KILLERS OF AMERICANS annually and yet when you Google the “Top Ten Causes of Deaths in the United States,” it is AWOL. A minimum of 50,000 people will die every year from it and that figure is probably 50% optimistic. The silent assassin is measured in millimeters and yet it has killed 250 pound athletes made of solid muscle and sinew. It is inexpressibly cruel as it continues to be one of the United States largest health care headaches. Ironically it is associated with migraines.[

The disease is known as Pulmonary Embolism, the end product of a small blood clot that often begins in the veins of the calf and travels to your lungs. These southern confederate below the belly-button trouble makers often bring their friends and family with them. If you are fortunate they may travel quietly and you may never know the passengers. If you are unfortunate, it may be your last moment on earth and you will never know why as you fall helplessly to the ground.

Pulmonary embolism is America’s least known serial killer and the monster keeps getting away with it, time and time again. It murders with dismaying regularity, often smoothly and with sophistry. The melancholy truth is that approximately 75% of people are in the dark regarding it. It doesn’t matter what race you are, what gender you are, what age you are. It is blind to your religion and socio-economic status and deaf to your worldviews. Tall, short, sedentary or active this monster is politically correct as to its choice of victims. Neither Republican nor Democrat has a majority. It could care less.

Medusa’s Clot discusses from lamb to loom the affliction known as pulmonary embolism whose sobriquet is simply PE. There is nothing simple about it but there are things we can do to help prevent it. Read this book with an unbent mind and not in incoherent haste and it may indeed save your life and the life of those you love.

I should know, I am a physician, teacher, and author who has been on both sides of the stethoscope. I have had over 35 mutilating surgeries, cancer, castration, and hearing loss. I also have had 2 pulmonary embolisms. The last one almost took me down the self-inflicted road, the purported 10th leading cause of death in America. I know how it feels to cling to life that no longer matters. It is simply that important of a topic.

Couched in humor, history, faith, and science Medusa’s Clot will lubricate the mind in proportion to the venom this slippery marplot possesses.

What do you have to lose by not reading it? The answer: Everything.

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About Dr. Michael Helzner

Dr. Michael Helzner is a physican and author who practiced medicine for 25 years in Philadelphia. He enjoyed training medical students, interns and residents until his career was cut short by numerous surgeries. He had two pulmonary embolisms which require lifetime medicines. Dr. H. as his patients affectionately referred to him, and his wife live in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. He maintains his medical license in hopes of one day returning to his passion.

About Mackenzie Thompson, Life Saver, NHCPS

Mackenzie is a seasoned life saver and a multifaceted professional in the medical field. With an impressive 8-year track record in medical education, Mackenzie boasts a comprehensive set of certifications, including ACLS, PALS, BLS, and CPR, which reflect her unwavering commitment and expertise. Her significant contributions to teaching and the development of medical content underscore her profound knowledge and dedication to advancing healthcare.

Beyond her medical prowess, Mackenzie seamlessly integrates her passion for education with her proficiency in media and marketing. Her academic journey at Indiana University culminated in a degree in Media and Marketing, further solidifying her expertise in these domains.

In addition to her impressive professional achievements, Mackenzie possesses a refined taste for global exploration, photography, design aesthetics, sartorial elegance, and the culinary arts, with a particular affinity for Chinese cuisine. Currently based in the vibrant city of Manhattan, she continues to be a driving force in the medical community. She is an invaluable asset to, where she champions excellence and innovation with unwavering dedication.

Contact Mackenzie Thompson, Life Saver, NHCPS at.

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