Chris Bosh Hospitalized, Lungs Tested for Pulmonary Embolism

Good news never seems to last long for the Miami Heat these days. Just hours after celebrating the news that the team had landed its best point guard since the heyday of Tim Hardaway, fans learned that superstar Chris Bosh had been hospitalized for some very serious tests.

Doctors in Miami have reportedly screened Bosh for a pulmonary embolism -- in layman's terms, a blood clot in the lungs.

The tests came after weeks of fatigue and pain in Bosh's side -- ailments that followed him through an appearance at the NBA All-Star Game (where he won a shooting competition) and a recent trip to Haiti with Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union for Carnival.

Last night's tests may not have cleared up Bosh's condition. The first tests were "inconclusive," with more medical news expected today. In the meantime, Bosh will skip the Heat's road trip to New York.

So how serious is a pulmonary embolism? It's not good.

Here's what WebMD has to say on the subject:

Pulmonary embolism is caused by a blocked artery in the lungs. The most common cause of such a blockage is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein in the leg and travels to the lungs, where it becomes lodged in a smaller lung artery.

Almost all blood clots that cause pulmonary embolism are formed in the deep leg veins. Clots also can form in the deep veins of the arms or pelvis.

Sometimes blood clots develop in surface veins. But these clots rarely lead to pulmonary embolism...

Treatment of pulmonary embolism focuses on preventing future pulmonary embolism by using anticoagulant medicines. Anticoagulants prevent existing blood clots from growing larger and help prevent new ones from developing.

If symptoms are severe and life-threatening, immediate and sometimes aggressive treatment is needed. Aggressive treatment may include thrombolytic medicines, which can dissolve a blood clot quickly but also increase the risk of severe bleeding. Another option for life-threatening, large pulmonary embolism is to remove the clot. This is called an embolectomy. An embolectomy is done during a surgery or minimally invasive procedure.

Some people may also benefit from having a vena cava filter inserted into the large central vein of the body. This filter can help prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. This filter might be used if you cannot take an anticoagulant. Or it might be used if anticoagulants have not worked well enough to lower your risk for blood clots.

So yeah, it's a serious ailment. If Bosh indeed suffered a blood clot, he'll need to forgo basketball for weeks while he undergoes treatment.

That's bad news, of course, for a team that just landed what most experts consider the coup of the trade deadline: elite point guard Goran Dragic. But with a potential illness this severe, fans' thoughts are with Bosh's health more than the win-loss column.

Get better soon, interstellar prince.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink