Akira Toriyama, Blood Clots, and the Death of a Manga Artist Legend

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
Blog Image Akira Toriyama

The Manga world was rocked by devastating news as the beloved creator Akira Toriyama, the iconic mind behind Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump, died at age 68 due to an acute subdural hematoma caused by a blood clot in his brain. His passing was shockingly abrupt and a harsh reminder that blood clots can strike suddenly and prove fatal if not caught in time.

For those unfamiliar with Toriyama's artistry, his imaginative spirit is renowned by Manga fans worldwide. Manga refers to Japanese comic books and graphic novels targeted at young children as well as adults. This distinctly Japanese art form and storytelling technique covers a wide variety of genres and has different storylines—making manga a unique and influential part of Japanese culture that has gained popularity worldwide.

Toriyama is widely regarded as one of the most influential and iconic manga artists, responsible for shaping Japanese comics and animation over several decades with his imaginative tales.

Toriyama's most famous work, Dragon Ball, exploded into a multi-billion-dollar franchise spanning manga, anime, movies, games, and more. Sadly, on March 1, 2024, the 68-year-old's brilliant, creative mind was cut short by a subdural hematoma. Per the Clevland Clinic, a subdural hematoma is bleeding in the brain that develops from a tear in a blood vessel. It occurs in approximately one in four people with head injuries.

While blood clots in the brain are especially grave, they can occur almost anywhere in the body and are also potentially life-threatening. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), blood clots affect as many as 900,000 Americans yearly and kill one hundred thousand people each year. Therefore, spotting the signs of blood clots could save your life or that of a loved one.

Warning signs: dangerous blood clots throughout the body

Blood clots in the brain

A subdural hematoma like Toriyama suffered can cause several symptoms due to the buildup of blood that puts intense pressure on the brain. For blood clots in the brain specifically, symptoms may include sudden severe headache, slurred speech, weakness in the arms or legs, loss of balance or coordination, blurred or double vision, and seizures.

Blood clots in the leg and thigh

Blood clots can also form in the legs, a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT can occur after long periods of immobility (such as during hospitalization or long flights), having a family history of blood clots, being older, smoking, pregnancy, and certain conditions (such as cancer). Signs and symptoms of a leg clot or DVT include:

  • Swelling in the affected leg
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Warm area over the vein
  • Leg fatigue or tenderness
  • Pain or cramping in the calf or thigh

Blood clots in the leg, thigh, and foot can be especially dangerous if they break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).

Blood clot in the foot

Symptoms of a blood clot in the foot can vary depending on its size and location. However, some common indicators that may signal the presence of a blood clot in the foot that requires immediate medical attention include swelling around the clot area, pain or tenderness that worsens with movement, reddish or discolored skin over the clot, warmth near the clot site, and calf pain or cramping if the clot is in the lower leg.

Blood clots in the lungs

A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a blood clot travels from the deep veins, typically in the legs, to the lungs, obstructing blood flow. This can lead to severe consequences, such as reduced oxygen supply and even life-threatening conditions.

Understanding PE's symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment is crucial for timely medical intervention. These include:

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing (sometimes accompanied by blood)
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling of anxiety
  • Shortness of breath

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek immediate emergency medical care. Acting quickly can be the difference between life and death, as clot-busting drugs and other treatments are only effective briefly after symptoms start.

Center for Vein Restoration can help if you suspect a blood clot

Instead of enduring long waits at the emergency room, Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) provides a convenient outpatient option for those concerned about deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Their streamlined process allows patients to:

  • Get evaluated and diagnosed for potential DVT on the same day
  • Receive their test results promptly, without delay
  • Begin taking anticoagulation medication immediately if a DVT is confirmed
  • Receive ongoing monitoring and care until anticoagulant therapy can be safely discontinued

Call CVR’s DVT hotline at 877-SCAN-DVT (877-722-6388) to access their same-day DVT-rule-out service.

Varicose veins are a risk factor for DVT

Varicose veins can increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by impairing blood flow and circulation, allowing clots to form more easily in the legs. Those with varicose veins should get evaluated by a board-certified vein specialist to prevent vein disease progression.

Center for Vein Restoration, America's leading vein treatment provider with over 120 locations, offers personalized outpatient vein care to safely treat varicose veins for over 200,000 patients annually using a variety of safe, effective, minimally invasive outpatient procedures.

Blood clots and the loss of an icon

Toriyama's death is a harsh reminder that blood clots can be silent killers if left unchecked. By learning the warning signs and understanding risk factors, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from sharing a similar tragic fate.

Remember that blood clots can be life-threatening, and early intervention is essential. For Center for Restoration DVT rule-out service, call 877-SCAN-DVT (877-722-6388).

Compromised blood flow from vein disease (the root cause of varicose veins) increases the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis, particularly in the legs. Individuals suffering from varicose veins should consult a vein care provider to have their condition professionally diagnosed and explore preventative treatments to avoid the progression of their vein disease.

Call 240-965-3915 to speak to a Patient Services Representative or schedule your consultation online at a CVR near you today.

CVR accepts many insurances, including Aetna, Amerigroup, Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, MultiPlan, Medicaid, Medicare, and more.

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