Hanson guitarist feels lucky after clot

By Michael McNutt
Capitol Bureau

Pop rocker Isaac Hanson thought he was too young to have to worry about blood clots.
But Hanson, 27, the oldest of three brothers in the band Hanson, underwent lifesaving surgery in October in Dallas after he noticed numbness in his right arm during a show hours earlier.

Doctors found potentially fatal blood clots in his arm and lungs, and removed them.

"I'm lucky to be here,” said Hanson, of Tulsa. "It was a scary experience.”

The band postponed its tour after Hanson's surgery and went back on the road this spring.

They group plans to go on tour again this fall, with concerts scheduled in South America, the United States and Europe.

Hanson talked Wednesday during a state Capitol news conference about his experiences with deep vein thrombosis, abnormal clotting of the blood in one or more veins.It can turn fatal if the clot breaks free from its original site and travels through the heart and into the lungs.

‘Don't shrug it off'
"I am one of the 3,000 Oklahomans who experienced DVT in this last year,” said Hanson, who first had an experience with abnormal clotting in November 2003.
"I am also in a rare group of people who experience the upper extremity clot as opposed to a lower extremity clot, that means in the arms, not in the legs,” said Hanson, who is expecting a second child this summer.

The primary cause for his clotting, he said, was repetition — the right-handed Hanson has played the guitar since he was in his early teens.

"If you notice numbness, if you notice discoloration, don't shrug it off like we often do, take it very seriously,” Hanson said.

A rib had to be removed to help improve blood flow, he said.

He also was prescribed blood-thinning medicine to reduce the likelihood of clotting.

He has permission to continue playing guitar.

"I will probably not have to be on blood thinner for the rest of my life,” Hanson said.

"But unfortunately there are many who do have clotting issues who may have to be on blood thinner for a much more extended time if not for the rest of their life.” .

‘It can afflict anyone'
Dr. Suman Rathbun, a vascular internist at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and the OU Medical Center, said Hanson's experiences highlight that the disease is not restricted to the elderly.
"I have a clinic full of patients that are in their 20s, 30s and 40s,” she said. "It can afflict anyone.”