Nightly News   |  April 06, 2013

Bloom’s death raised deep vein thrombosis awareness

NBC News correspondent David Bloom was in the middle of a war zone in Iraq when he  was killed by something that takes hundreds of thousands of lives here at home every year: a complication of deep vein thrombosis.  A blood clot in his leg had broken loose and traveled to his lungs. NBC’s Lester Holt reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we here at nbc news lost a dear colleague on this network ten years ago. we last saw david bloom where he last liked to be, in the middle of a big story . efls on the battlefield in iraq, beaming the story live in american living rooms via the souped-up satellite truck known as the bloommobile. david knew it was a dangerous assignment, yet how he died caught us off guard and it launch aed a new battle here at home to alert others about the dangers of deep vein thrombosis . six years ago, mary huntsman had a strange pain in her leg that she couldn't describe, a pianist who, at the time, was playing six hours a day to get ready for a recital. she finally went to the doctor.

>> it was diagnosed as deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism .

>> reporter: ten years ago, dvt was not something many americans had ever heard of.

>> it shows that 74% of americans had never heard of this condition.

>> the year was 2003 , and nbc news correspondent david bloom was in the middle of a war zone in iraq when he was killed by something that takes hundreds of thousands of lives here at home

every year: a complication of dvt . a blood clot in his leg likely brought on in part by long days of being trapped in an arm orred vehicle had broken loose and got trapped in his lungs. it translated to a pulmonary embolism that took his life. neither he nor his wife knew anything about dvt .

>> he called me and said, i have to stretch my legs out. my legs have been cramping up on me.

>> reporter: after david 's death, melanie received hundreds of letters from those who had suffered or lost loved ones to dvt . today she is an advocate for dvt awareness.

>> it can feel like a cramp, it can feel like a pulled muscle. if you've been on a long flight. if you're a woman and on the birth control pill or hormone replacement therapy , that can cause it.

>> we've moved the percentage up to 25%.

>> because of what happened to her husband, people are willing to listen.

>> reporter: for melanie bloom, she remains focused on paying a tribute to david the best way she knows how.