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'Road Trip' Star -- Dispute Over Official Cause of Death

7/11/2011 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Mia Amber Davis -- the big girl from "Road Trip" -- officially died from a blood clot in her lungs ... so says the actress' death certificate -- but her husband still believes KNEE SURGERY is to blame.

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Mia's official cause of death had been a mystery ever since the 36-year-old actress passed away on May 10 ... one day after undergoing a routine knee surgery.

Now, an UPDATED death certificate has been filed in L.A. County ... listing Mia's primary cause of death as a "pulmonary thrombo-embolism" ... which is a blockage in the main artery of the lung.

But here's where things get murky -- under the line marked, "significant conditions contributing to death but not resulting in underlying cause" -- the doctor listed "LEFT KNEE, OPERATED."

Mia's husband, Michael Yard, asked the Coroner's Officer if it meant she died as a result of the surgery ... but the office said they could not give a definitive answer.

Yard tells us ... he believes the surgery DID contribute to Mia's death -- claiming she never had any issues with blood clots before she went under the knife.


42 COMMENTS

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16.

Susie-Q    

I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus, in 2009. I had to sign papers to the effect that I could possibly die. A routine paper that everyone gets as a "consent" form. There is not law suit here happening. I don't live in Ca. but I would assume today it is a standard form for everyone who is having surgery. No law suit here happening I am sure.

1011 days ago
17.

IN MY OPINION    

The problem could be with her platelets. It's possible that the medication contributed to the clot because it could have done the opposite of what it was intended to do.

I had toe surgery, and one of the antibiotic caused my toe to swell on one side. The orthopedist had no idea what caused it until her husband showed the same symptoms, and she figured that the medicine did not fare well with low platelets. My toe had to be drained because not only was it getting skinny and affecting the other toes, it was causing tremendous pain. The amount of blood that came out of the one two was amazing.

My primary doctor originally refused to sign off on my surgery because I could have bleed to death from any incision (small or big). All in all, anything is possible during surgery that's why it's a risk you take when they cut you open.

1011 days ago
18.

Chris    

A clot form anywhere in the body and can break free and become an embolism. If it travels to your heart, it can cause a heart attack. If it travels to the brain, it can cause a stroke. If it travels to the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolism. The clots can form with or without surgery.

1011 days ago
19.

Leslie    

Folks are right. Any kind of surgery can lead to a blood clot. It's sad, but it happens. My aunt died of a heart attack, due to a blood clot, after gall-bladder surgery. The knee seems to carry a bit of a higher risk. Sometimes it happens after a leg fracture. I'm not a doctor either. I've just picked up those tidbits of knowledge over the years by observation. I've had 8 surgeries and I've done my best to make sure that I don't lie around too much. I try to walk the halls as much as I can.

1011 days ago
20.

stephvig    

You don't have to have prior problems with blood clots to have this issue. After my c-section with my first child, I had a clot travel to my lungs. I was VERY fortunate to have some painful symptoms that made me head to the ER. I caught it in enough time and I was able to walk away from it after a week in the hospital. It is just one of those risks that come with surgery!! Not a fault of the hospital/Dr. at all!!! I never had prior clotting issues before that either!!

1011 days ago
21.

Leigh_Ann    

Anytime you have a significant injury or surgery, you are at a higher risk of a blood clot that can migrate through the body to the heart and lungs. The physicians explain the risks and the indications prior to surgery and as you are recovering. You sign a waiver prior to surgery.

I read this article and all I could think was the husband sees $$$$. I had a traumatic injury to my calf from a horse and that the the one thing they told me to watch out for so I did not risk a blood clot. Swelling, pain in other areas, shortness of breath. I would think that the patient signed the release indicating the she understood the risks and the contraindications. Problem is that the husband will claim they had no knowledge and "if they knew the risk, they wouldn't have had the surgery." Hear it all the time. Any surgery or injury limiting the use of large muscle groups put you at a higher risk of blood clots, EVEN if you have no risk factors. Suspect the hospital will pay just to get this nuisance off the books. Want to know why malpractice insurance and medical is so expensive. Frivilous lawsuits.

1011 days ago
22.

TheHOLETruth    

@Repicky Do you understand what you said? I'm increasingly seeing more of this minimizing, convoluted logic or rational-and I don't know where it's coming from. First you acknowledge that blood clots can occur as a result of surgery similar to that of Amber. Then you dismiss the husband's concern, despite the fact that the certificate named the knee surgery was a potential differential contributing factor. What's in it for you to discount his concern. But I know your type, you'll talk crap when you have an obvious agenda until it's turned on you.

I'm suspicious as to why it took so long to determine the cause of death, unless of course there's a cover up to protect the hospital and cover the coroners ass in the event of a law suit, especially since the husband was making noise of questioning the finding.

1011 days ago
23.

Rich    

Knee operations can cause blood clots. A relative had surgery and had a stroke the next day. A clot moved from the knee. It does happen and surgeons don't want you to know that.

1011 days ago
24.

Phreaky    

As expected, the husband is just trying to pin it on someone's negligence so he can sue.
Look Michael Yard, sometimes things just happen.
Don't try to get rich because someone died.

1011 days ago
25.

Deep    

Thromboembolisms are blood clots that first form in the lower extremity, dislodge, and migrate up to get stuck in the lung. When that happens and medical attention is not immediately sought, death may occur, such as in this woman's case. Serena Williams a few months ago, had a similar incidence occur, however, she received immediate medical attention, thus, saving her life.

Unfortunately, surgery to the knee is a common reason as to why a thromboembolitic episode may occur. Since blood clots have to form to close up the incision, certain medications are given to prevent a thrombolitic activity. However, in some instances, it does occur, and although it is a rare risk, one should be informed about it before undergoing the knife.

1011 days ago
26.

MikeD    

My copy of the DC says "Deferred"... how many of you writing above me did not view the attachment? Good grief TMZ and gang.

1011 days ago
27.

CloBird    

Clotting is one of the dangerous side effects that can occur after ANY surgery.The surgery is a contributing factor,but it is the blood clot that caused death.

1011 days ago
28.

Susie    

The husband is correct or at least over the 50% he needs to win in a civil suit. Knee surgeries are atrocious for causing blood clots.
I myself go under the knife on Aug. 2nd for left knee surgery, complete replacement.
Prior I have had a stink put in a vein so that any blood clots developing in my legs do not travel to heart, lungs. After the surgery I will go right back on blood thinners.

I do NOT believe its common practice to give blood thinners for below the waist surgeries, I am not sure. But they SHOULD BE. Now if he can prove it is common practice per se in the medical field to give thinners after surgery he might have a case. I would certainly pursue it immediately myself.

Added risk, weight(she looks like a big muscley girl), smoker, lack of activity after surgery and well all the bad stuff in life.

God bless her and its horrible to loose a life so young and vibrant for whatever reason. :(

1011 days ago
29.

PJ Sarrantonio    

My husband had knee surgery last year and almost died of a blod clot in his lung. It seems they didn't take the proper precautions afterwards by putting the inflatible pillows on his leg. His oxygen levels fell and he was having a hard time breathing. At that point, many doctors were in and out of his room and different meds were prescribed. Thank God, my husband is alive today.

1011 days ago
30.

lalaluvu    

I got a blood clot in my leg after my knee surgery. It hurt so bad!! I thought the pain was from the surgery, but a friend was concerned about my pain pill popping and made me go back to the doctor. I'm glad I went! 6 months of warfarin and no blood clot, but it's still tough. Sorry to hear about Mia - hers moved really fast. No, the doctors won't help you out after you leave the office unless you call - but your physical therapist will. Pay attention to your body. Mine felt like a million needles stabbing me.

1011 days ago
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