I’m Aware That I’m Rare: Kim M. Kerr, MD

phaware global association®
5 min readMay 7, 2018

The phaware® interview

Kim M. Kerr, MD, is a board-certified pulmonologist. Her clinical and research interests are in chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and critical care. She is involved in both inpatient and outpatient clinical trials studying pulmonary vascular disease and critical care medicine. Dr. Kerr is Clinical Professor of Medicine and the Medical Director of the Thornton Intensive Care Unit. Dr. Kerr discusses her work in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with CTEPH and the importance of the U.S. CTEPH Registry (www.usctephregistry.com).

My name is Kim Kerr, I’m a pulmonologist. I work at the University of California — San Diego.

I’m involved with the PTE Program there. CTEPH stands for chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. We’ve all probably heard about people who’ve had blood clots in their legs or people that had blood clots that have come to their lungs. There have been some famous people who’ve had what’s called pulmonary emboli and it happens all the time in the United States. Estimates of up to a half a million people a year in the United States will have venous thromboembolism, pulmonary emboli.

The vast majority of those patients the clots will be dissolved and there’s no ongoing significance for those patients. There’s a small subset of those patients though whose clots don’t go away and actually they develop pulmonary hypertension. These clots are no longer fresh clots, they’re forming scars in the pulmonary artery. It puts a strain on the right heart and people get short of breath and they develop symptoms of right heart failure. We call them chronic blood clots but they’re really scars. The way I explain it to patients is you have … for instance, you break your leg, you put your leg in a cast and because you’re not moving your leg you develop a clot in the vein in your leg.

Some of these patients or a lot of these patients, that clot in the vein breaks off and goes to the lung and lodges in the lung. Most of the time your body will…

phaware global association®

Are You #phaware? Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare, life-threatening disease affecting the arteries of the lungs. www.phaware.global

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