MLB Umpire, 52, Dies In Tragic Way

Angel Guzman, CC BY-SA 2.0

Boston Globe – Eric Cooper, the Major League Baseball umpire who worked the AL Division Series two weeks ago, has died. He was 52.

Cooper died Saturday after having a blood clot. He had knee surgery earlier in the week and was recuperating at his father’s home in Iowa.

Cooper, popular with his fellow umps, was talking to them Saturday about his recovery.

Cooper made his debut in the majors in 1996 as a minor league fill-in and joined the big league staff in 1999.

His most recent assignment came in the playoffs this month when he worked the New York Yankees’ sweep of Minnesota in the ALDS.

He was at second base on Oct. 7 for the clinching Game 3 at Target Field. Read more. 

Umpire’s death spotlights risk of deadly blood clots

Des Moines Register – A moment of silence was held Tuesday in Houston before Game 1 of the World Series in memory of umpire Eric Cooper, 52, who died last weekend. Cooper died after developing a blood clot following knee surgery, according to the Associated Press and other media outlets.

The umpires at the World Series are wearing a patch in memory of Cooper, who attended Des Moines Hoover High School and Iowa State University.

Experts say blood clots are a complex complication that can turn fatal with little warning. As research evolves, awareness campaigns aim to educate patients so they can understand their own chances of forming a blood clot, known as thrombosis.

Post-surgery blood clots are rare, but more common after joint operations

“Anytime you have a lower extremity surgery, there is an increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE),” said Dr. Claudette Lajam, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and chief orthopedic safety officer at the NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital and NYU Langone Health.

The specific kind of surgery affects how much risk patients face.

With knee replacements, nearly everyone takes drugs to counter the increased risk of thrombosis, experts said. But after arthroscopic surgeries, most patients don’t need those medications unless they have increased risks from cancer, hormone therapy or a high Body Mass Index (BMI), for example.

Aspirin is the most common treatment, but there are other prescription blood thinners, and some people use pumps on their feet or calves to improve circulation, according to Lajam. Researchers are studying whether such pumps are effective at preventing and treating thrombosis, she said.

Blood thinners carry their own risks, like increased risk of bleeding, Lajam noted.

“There’s a lot that surgeons have to consider when they’re doing something like this — it’s not cut-and-dried,” she said. Read more. 

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