Pulmonary embolism

What is pulmonary embolism?

Pulmonary embolism is a sudden blockage of a pulmonary artery. When a clot called a deep vein thrombosis occurs in the leg, it breaks off, and uses the blood currents to reach the lungs. In cases where the clot is large, or there are many clots, the embolism can lead to death.

Pulmonary thrombosis is a serious disease that can be fatal.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism

Patients with pulmonary embolism have no symptoms in up to 50% of cases. If they do have symptoms, they may suffer from shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing up blood. When there is a clot, the patient may experience symptoms such as heat, swelling, pain, tenderness and redness of the leg. The treatment to eliminate these symptoms consists of detaching the clots and preventing the formation of new clots.

What are the causes of pulmonary embolism?

First of all, pulmonary embolism is a serious pathology that can damage the affected lung forever. Another cause of pulmonary embolism is low oxygen levels and damage to various organs of the body because they do not receive the oxygen they do not need.

Pulmonary embolism originates with the obstruction of a blood vessel, technically known as thrombosis. The clots originate in the veins of the pelvis or legs and are carried to a pulmonary vessel. The embolus, the part that breaks off the clot, reaches the right ventricle of the heart and continues until it reaches the right or left pulmonary artery. A sufficiently large embolus can obstruct a blood vessel and trigger various symptoms.

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As for risk factors, there are acquired and genetic. Acquired risk factors include operations, serious spinal injuries, medications, cancer or pregnancy. Genetic factors, on the other hand, are inherited in the DNA of each person, for example, inherited blood clotting disorders.

Can it be prevented?

There is prevention against pulmonary embolism and the most important actions are: Practicing sports frequently, in order to keep the blood in the legs circulating and avoid risk factors that influence pulmonary embolism, such as obesity. Another preventive measure is not to smoke and not to take contraceptives without medical prescription. Finally, it is important to prevent thrombosis in surgeries, traumatisms, childbirth… Always remember to choose the best specialists when practicing any treatment.

What is the treatment?

The recommended treatment for pulmonary embolism is the use of anticoagulants. Drugs, such as thrombolytics, or interventions such as vena cava filters may also be used to speed up the removal of the clot or prevent the disease from reaching the lungs.