In a new article in Vogue, tennis star Serena Williams told the magazine how she self-diagnosed a life-threatening emergency after giving birth. Shortly after delivering, the tennis star suddenly felt out of breath and assumed she was having a pulmonary embolism, given her history of blood clots. According to Vogue, “She walked out of the hospital room so her mother wouldn’t worry and told the nearest nurse, between gasps, that she needed a CT scan with contrast and IV heparin (a blood thinner) right away. The nurse thought her pain medicine might be making her confused. But Serena insisted, and soon enough a doctor was performing an ultrasound of her legs. 'I was like, a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip,' she remembers telling the team. The ultrasound revealed nothing, so they sent her for the CT, and sure enough, several small blood clots had settled in her lungs. Minutes later she was on the drip. 'I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!'” We speak to Annie Waldman, a reporter at ProPublica who wrote the article “How Hospitals Are Failing Black Mothers.” The piece is part of a larger year-long ProPublica investigation called “Lost Mothers: Maternal Care and Preventable Deaths.”
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