From a Dream Holiday to a Hospital Bed

Nutritional therapist Hanna Partanen was living a hectic life of a young and successful entrepreneur – a little break in Thailand was very much needed in January 2018. As the opportunity arose, Hanna was totally onboard. As an active person, Hanna made sure she kept up with the exercise routine amongst relaxing. Holiday in tropical paradise lived up to the expectations and Hanna was able to unwind and gather her strength.

As an experienced traveler, Hanna knew how to prepare herself for the long return flight. Over eleven hours in an airplane takes its toll on everyone, no matter how prepared one is. Hanna was prepared, she requested an aisle seat, had an occasional walk and hydrated herself regularly. After all, a little tight feeling on her calf was so minor that she figured it would go away as unexpectedly as it came.

Coming back to everyday reality was harsh, as Finland was in the middle of its subzero season and Hanna had to catch up on all the work that had piled up during her get way in Thailand. The hectic schedules kept Hanna busy, but she did notice feeling a little bit more tired and out of breath than usual. However, this was not a major concern and she brushed it off. She figured a little pilates would sort it out!

As weekend kicked in, Hanna had more time to pay attention to her own body and even updated her Facebook status, stating the current situation of things.

“It was a matter of minutes when my friend, who happens to be a doctor, urged me to see a physician due to my symptoms. So, when Monday came, I booked an appointment.”

“Had I known my pharmacogenetic results, I would had reconsidered my contraceptive medication. I would have avoided unnecessary risks.”

Alarming Condition Put the Priorities in a New Order

After a blood screen, the doctor called Hanna to tell that her results were above the average and told her to come back for further checks. Ultrasound was clear, but the doctor insisted Hanna would get checked at Hyvinkää Hospital.

The busy entrepreneur felt reluctant as it meant canceling her own patient and re-scheduling her lectures – but it had to be done. Several tests were made and finally, a TT-scan showed that Hanna had a blood clot in both of her lungs. A life-threatening state followed by a total immobility and immediate dilutive treatments made Hanna bedbound for the time being.

“There I was, calling friends and family to babysit our dogs, to bring me my laptop and what have you.”

As medication was being planned, based on her medical history, a pharmacogenetic test was being conducted.

“Had I known my pharmacogenetic results, I would have reconsidered my contraceptive medication. Since I have been using the same product for almost 20 years – a medication with lower risk factors for a blood clot would have most definitely been a safer option for me.”

The Current Care Guidelines state the major risk factors for a blood clot, one of them being hormonal contraceptive medication. By pharmacogenetic testing, one can determine the correct and safe medication within the contraceptive medication. By checking patients medicine suitability, one can avoid unnecessary risks.

150 000 of Finnish women use contraceptive medication that can potentially be risky. Within Caucasian female population around 5 ­­– 10 % are estimated to have a heightened risk level to form a blood clot as a result of incorrect hormonal contraceptive medication. On individual level this is a major factor, but also in national level due to the economic burden that comes with it. The savings in national health economy would be substantial if preventive treatment would become a norm.

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