What is pulmonary embolism?



Pulmonary embolism is a condition when the artery as the main blood vessel in the lung is suddenly obstructed by a blood clot. The effect of this blockage depends on the size of the clot. If the clot is relatively small, it does not lead to death. But as time goes by, it causes damage in the lung. The different case happens when the size of the clot is large. It can stop the blood flow which travels to the lung. This condition can lead to fatal death. Therefore, you need to get immediate treatment to reduce the fatal risk of this problem.

The symptoms of pulmonary embolism?

By knowing the signs of pulmonary embolism, you can save your life. Whenever you recognize these signs, contact your doctor immediately  for quick treatment.

  1. Sudden obstruction of breathing causing you to have short breath
  2. Aching on the chest which gets more painful when you cough or take a deep breath
  3. Severe cough which produces pinky and foamy mucus
  4. Lots of sweat
  5. Ligtheadedness
  6. Being faint
  7. Heart which beats faster than normal

The doctor needs further examination to diagnose whether or not you get pulmonary embolism. At first, the symptoms are similar to heart problem. Therefore the diagnosis requires blood test, CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, electrocardiogram.

The causes of pulmonary embolism?

Pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot in the lung. The blood clot itself can even travel from the leg. Not only in the artery, blood clot in the deep vein is also likely to cause pulmonary embolism. It is estimated that other things can also obstruct the blood flow in the blood vessels. Things like tumor, amniotic fluid, air bubble, even fat can cause blockage too.

There are several factors that increase the risk of getting this blood clot.

  1. Some people have special characteristic in their blood which makes them clot easily
  2. Being idle for a long period of time contributes to make blood clot. This includes laying on bed for a long time due to surgery or illness and sitting for a long time on a trip by car or plane
  3. Have surgical action on leg, brain, hip, or stomach area
  4. Suffer from serious diseases like stroke, heart disease, or cancer
  5. Being pregnant and giving birth
  6. Going through a birth control program using pills or therapy
  7. Smoking
  8. Being overweight

The treatments pulmonary embolism

To treat blood clot, the patients should take a medicine namely anticoagulants. They function to prevent the blood clot to grow and new blood clot to form. As early treatment, the doctor injects heparin as blood thinner. Then, you need to take warfarin for oral medicine. You are required to take this medicine for several months. For a severe case, you can take this medicine for the rest of your life.

For pulmonary embolism which can lead to fatal result, you need to take drug to dissolve the clot immediately. Surgery to remove the clot which is called embolectomy can also be one of the option. As a long lasting treatment, a blood filter can be installed in the large vein.



source: What is pulmonary embolism?