(09/09/13) - Right now, you could have a ticking time bomb inside your body - an
un-diagnosed blood clot disorder that could cost you your life.
More people die from preventable blood clots than from breast cancer, AIDS, and traffic accidents combined.
What is your risk? Well, soon it may be easier for doctors to tell you.
The Flecks family is in a waiting area of the hospital where father, Jason, experienced some of his darkest days. It is where he was treated for potentially deadly blood clotting.
Jason says it was found, "extensively through my legs that actually traveled to my lungs"
And, to add to the trouble, Jason says he was also diagnosed with cancer, "I also had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as well. One of the nurses said to me, you know, 'had you not come in when you did, um, you may not have made it another day.'"
Jason stumbled onto the bad news when he fell off a trampoline, "I went to see an orthopedic doctor who said there's nothing wrong with your leg, but you may have blood clotting."
"It's the number one reason why you might die in a hospital," says Dr. John Francis of Florida Hospital's Thrombosis Research Center.
Francis says a person can go completely symptom free. One of the main risk factor is genetics, which Dr. Francis says Jason had going against him, "we know that an individual's risk is increased, but we don't know whether it's increased to the point where we need to take some medical intervention right this minute."
Researchers are working on a new test to solve that mystery. It offers a full picture of how your blood cells and proteins work together to form a clot.
"We're measuring the production in the blood of an enzyme called thrombin. It's really the key - too little, you bleed, too much, you clot," Francis says.
The goal is to eliminate preventable complications, so at-risk patients like Jason can plan family vacations for years to come.
So far, Jason's cancer is in remission.
Researchers are hoping to launch clinical trials for the blood clotting diagnostic test by 2014.
ABC12 Main Station