Skip to content

    Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Serena Williams' Pulmonary Embolism, Hematoma: FAQ

    Tennis Star Recovering From Life-Threatening Blood Clot
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

    March 2, 2011 -- Tennis star Serena Williams is recovering from a pulmonary embolism and a hematoma resulting from her treatment, according to media reports.

    What is a pulmonary embolism? How can something so scary happen to a world-class athlete? Do people fully recover from a pulmonary embolism?

    To answer these and other questions, WebMD consulted Shirin Shafazand, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine in the division of pulmonary critical care at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

    Shafazand has not examined Williams and has not seen her medical records. She commented on publicly available details of Williams' condition and on her extensive experience treating patients with pulmonary embolisms.

    What happened to Serena Williams?

    Shortly after winning her fourth Wimbledon title last July, Williams cut her foot on a shard of glass. The severe cut required surgery and 18 stitches. Although she played an exhibition match shortly thereafter, continuing problems with the foot has kept her out of competition since then.

    According to a statement from her representative in People magazine, Williams was in New York last week undergoing further treatment for her foot injury. She flew back to Los Angeles and apparently suffered a pulmonary embolism during or shortly after the flight.

    On Feb. 28, she "underwent emergency treatment" for a hematoma she suffered as a result of her treatment for pulmonary embolism.

    Williams is reported to be recovering.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4

    Today on WebMD

    man coughing
    You may not even know you have it.
    blood clot
    Signs of this potentially fatal complication.
     
    man coughing
    When a cold becomes bronchitis.
    human lungs
    Causes behind painful breathing, fluid buildup.
     

    chest x-ray
    Slideshow
    Bronchitis Overview
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Copd Myth Fact Quiz
    QUIZ
    Energy Boosting Foods
    SLIDESHOW
     

    lungs
    Article
    smokestacks
    Article
     
    woman coughing
    Article
    Lung xray and caduceus
    Article