Running from 1964 to 1969, Dorothy became one of the highest-paid soap stars of her time. Playing the long-suffering mother Constance, Dorothy reportedly racked up $250,000 (around £205,695) per year for the TV series. At its peak popularity, the show would air three times per week, but in between 1965 and 1966, Dorothy had to take a break from the show due to her poor health.
While Dorothy had medical attention, she was replaced by actress Lola Albright, but what caused Dorothy to seek professional help?
Dorothy had blood clots in her lungs, medically known as a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
The informative charity Asthma and Lung UK explains: “A pulmonary embolism happens when a blood vessel in your lungs becomes blocked.
“Most of the time, this blockage is caused by a blood clot and happens suddenly.”
Typically, the condition is caused by blood clots travelling up from one of the veins in the leg (deep vein thrombosis).
One of the biggest risk factors for deep vein thrombosis is being inactive for long periods of time.
“This is because when you’re inactive, blood tends to collect in the lower parts of your body, particularly in your lower legs,” the charity elaborates.
Any sedentary behaviour that goes on for four hours or more is considered a risk factor.
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Certain people have a higher risk of the condition, such as smokers and those who are overweight.
Carrying a baby during pregnancy is also a risk factor, and the risk of deep vein thrombosis is increased for up to six weeks after giving birth.
Another risk factor is if you take hormone-based contraception or hormone replacement therapy.
Anybody experiencing the following is strongly advised to “call 999” if they:
- Have severe breathing difficulty
- A heart that is beating very fast
- Someone has passed out.
The main symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:
- Chest pain
- Feeling short of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling faint or even passing out.
Can a pulmonary embolism be prevented?
Asthma and Lung UK says: “The best way to prevent a pulmonary embolism is to try and stop blood clots forming in your veins.”
You can do this by being a non-smoker, exercising frequently, and not sitting for a long time.
It’s also important to stay hydrated, maintain a healthy weight, and eat a healthy, balanced diet.
Thankfully for Dorothy, her condition was treated successfully, meaning she went on to star in other successful productions.
To name a few, she was in Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1979), Winter Kills (1979), and Basic Instinct (1992).
On January 19, 2018, Dorothy passed away from natural causes in Dallas, Texas, at the age of 93.
Dorothy Malone starred in At Gunpoint, which is showcasing on Tuesday, March 14 on Film4 at 11am.
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