When a patient came in for an ultrasound in July to determine the status of her pregnancy, Amy Chandler, RDMS, was looking for more than a baby.
Chandler, a sonographer at the UF Health Women’s Center at the Medical Plaza, said the patient told her about her history of deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, a condition that occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, most commonly in the legs. DVT can be life-threatening if a blood clot becomes loose and travels through the blood stream to the heart, causing a pulmonary embolism — a blockage in a lung artery.
When the patient’s pregnancy was confirmed, doctors wanted to place her on prophylactic Lovenox, a medication used to prevent and treat deep vein blood clots.
But after looking at the patient’s uterus and ovaries during the ultrasound, Chandler suspected she already had a DVT — an observation that is beyond the scope of a routine obstetrics ultrasound examination.
Chandler promptly informed Robert Egerman, M.D., a professor in the UF College of Medicine department of obstetrics and gynecology, who ordered the patient be sent to the radiology department that evening for further evaluation.
The patient underwent a lower extremity venous ultrasound, which produces images of the veins from one’s knees to ankles. The radiology department confirmed bilateral clots in the patient’s lower extremities. She was immediately admitted to the hospital and placed on blood-thinners to treat her blood clots.
“I think all the pieces of the puzzle were there that day,” Chandler said. “It was just meant to be for me to see.”
Egerman said Chandler’s keen attention to detail and service to the patient may have saved the patient and her baby’s lives.
But Chandler said she was simply doing her job.
“I think it all boils down to loving what you do,” Chandler said. “If you are enjoying what you do, then you’re more genuine in your job and more willing to go the extra mile.”