"Law & Order" actor Dennis Farina
, a former cop who also played one on the iconic TV show, passed away Monday, July 22, after experiencing a blood clot in his lung, according to news reports.
The Associated Press reported that Farina died in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital at age 69.
Blood clots in the lungs can be fatal because they can lead to pulmonary embolism, which is when there are blockages to the lungs' arteries. When this happens, the tissue that the arteries are connected to dies, leading to deprivation of oxygen to the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute explained that the blood clots that cause pulmonary embolism usually start in another part of the body, and then travel to the lungs. Often, they are connected with a condition called deep vein thrombosis, which is when there are blood clots in the deep veins of