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Serena Williams suffers pulmonary embolism

Tennis star Serena Williams was hospitalized in Los Angeles after suffering a pulmonary embolism, according to her rep.

Williams had been seen at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center several times in recent days, People magazine reports. When contacted about the visits, Williams's rep, Nicole Chabot, revealed that the 29-year-old suffered a pulmonary embolism last week and that her health took a turn for the worse on Monday - a day after attending an Oscar party in West Hollywood.

"Monday Serena Williams underwent emergency treatment at Cedars for a hematoma she suffered as a result of treatment for a more critical situation," Chabot said in a statement.

"Last week, Serena suffered from a pulmonary embolism [a blood clot in the lungs] which was discovered upon her return to L.A. She had been in New York for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot."

Chabot added that doctors are closely monitoring her situation "to avoid additional complications."

Williams' mother, Oracene Price, tweeted Wednesday afternoon: ``Thank you for your concern. She is fine.'' No word on what treatment Williams received, but pulmonary embolism can lead to death without immediate treatment with clot-busting medication, according to the Mayo Clinic website. In fact, about 12 percent of people who suffer pulmonary embolism die within a month of diagnosis, according to the American Heart Association. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include chest pain, cough - which can produce bloody spittle - and shortness of breath even in the absence of physical activity. Risk factors include family history, recent surgery, dehydration, and prolonged inactivity, often associated with bed rest or a long journey.

Williams attended Sunday night's Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party. On Tuesday night, Williams posted on her Twitter account "Tough day." A few minutes later she retweeted Kim Kardashian.

Williams has been sidelined by two operations on her right foot after getting cut by glass at a restaurant, and has not played a competitive match since winning Wimbledon on July 3.

Williams, the former world No. 1, has won 13 Grand Slam titles.

Second-ranked Kim Clijsters tweeted Wednesday: "Just read about Serena!!!! Very scary, hope she is ok!fingers crossed!" Williams has a wide range of business, fashion and charitable interests that keep her in the public eye even when she's not on the court. Since winning her first Grand Slam title in 1999, she has struggled with injuries on several occasions only to come back to win more championships.
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