Stephanie Swaim is a young working mom, who's had problems with blood clots. The first time happened when she was 9 months pregnant back in 2014. More recently she was diagnosed with another blood clot, but the treatment protocol was much different.
"What I've learned is, it can be as simple as just taking a single dose pill. Just one pill a day," says Swaim. "That it can change your life. It can save your life."
Dr. Jeffrey Kline has studied blood clots and the treatments for them. He's an emergency room physician at IU Methodist, where he formed the blood clot clinic. He says about a half million people develop clots every year and 200,000 patients develop potentially deadly pulmonary embolisms. New drugs like Pradaxa, Eliquis, and Xarelto have made treatment safer, less expensive and patients can go home.
"Now we can take patients with clots in the lung, which used to be a scary condition. " says Dr. Kline, "patients would stay in the hospital for a week. Now we can give them a pill and they can go home."
This new protocol is possible because of how these drugs attack clots.
"They just do it at a more specific location," says Dr. Kline. "and the clotting system of the body. They are more controllable."
Four hundred patients have been treated at Methodist's blood clot clinic. Patients get 24 hour access to doctors if they have any questions. It's worked so well, the clinic's success has been replicated in health centers around the country.
"We sent patients home from the emergency department with freshly diagnosed DVT or PE," says Dr. Daren Beam of IU Health Methodist it worked for Stephanie Swaim, who's back to work both as a mom and an executive with a local pharmaceutical company.