updated 08/04/2014 AT 2:00 AM ET
•originally published 08/04/2014 AT 8:35 AM ET
But how did something so routine turn fatal?
According to internist Dr. Levi Benson, “very few” blood clots turn out to be deadly. “The huge majority of people who get a blood clot do fine,” he says. “A medical professional can prescribe blood thinners, and the clots usually go away in a few months.”
Clots, which are also called deep vein thromboses (DVT) and usually occur in the extremities, can be caused by several things – like an injury or long air travel – that result in prolonged immobility. People with cancer and women who are pregnant are also at risk.