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Pulmonary embolism

What is a Pulmonary Embolism?

Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition in which one of the lung's arteries is blocked affecting ventilation. The blood flow to the heart is occluded and thus increases the pressure on the right ventricle. The blockage is usually a blood clot/s that has travelled from a different area of the body such as from the deep vein of the leg. This is usually due to deep vein thrombosis

It is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs that tends to damage certain parts of the lung, because of restricted blood flow and a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood. Slowly and gradually, they start affecting other organs too. The minor clots do not really harm a patient but large or multiple blood clots could turn out to be fatal. Consequently, blockages often turn out to be serious, resulting in the death of one-third of all people, in whose cases it is left undiagnosed and/or untreated.

These blood clots may have formed for various reasons, like collagen, tumour or air bubbles, but mostly, these form because of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition in which blood circulation to the portions of the lungs served by each blocked artery is hindered.

Pulmonary embolism symptoms

Pulmonary embolism can be diagnosed by the following early symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Bluish skin
  • Chest pain
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Blood spitting
  • Weak or dropping pulse

Pulmonary embolism causes

Here are some of the common pulmonary embolism causes:

  • Injury or damage- Bone fractures, muscle tears causing damage to blood vessels
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation

Pulmonary embolism risk factors

There are certain risk factors of pulmonary embolism which are:

  • Pregnancy
  • Received central venous catheter
  • History of heart failure or stroke
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Trauma or injury to a vein
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Smoking

Pulmonary embolism diagnosis

The healthcare professional will use the following tests for making a pulmonary embolism diagnosis:

  • Blood tests- also includes D-dimer test
  • Ultrasound of the leg
  • Ventilation/perfusion scan
  • Computed tomography angiogram
  • Pulmonary angiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Magnetic resource imaging tests

Pulmonary embolism treatment

Pulmonary embolism treatment entirely depends on the blood clot's location and size. Here are some treatment options to treat pulmonary embolism:

  • Anticoagulants- Also known as blood thinners helps in preventing new clots and preventing the formation of a new clot in the blood. The commonly used category for anticoagulants is oral like rivaroxaban, eliquis, etc.
  • Clot dissolvers- These drugs help improve blood flow and perfusion. It is mostly used in emergencies mainly when there are bleeding issues
  • Catheter-directed method -It is used to remove clots and break them down. There is the use of a thin tube known as a catheter which dissolves clots, suctions out and breaks down the clots in the pulmonary artery
  • Open surgery- It is recommended in an emergency when minimally invasive catheter-directed methods aren’t available, medications aren’t working well, and medications are contraindicated or have too many risks

Why should you choose Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur for pulmonary embolism treatment?

Rukmani Birla Hospital, Jaipur is a multispecialty hospital that has delivered amazing healthcare services to its patients for years now. Our patient care is matchless and we offer the most affordable health treatments to every patient. We ensure that our services are available to everyone and that no one experiences problems while consulting us. If you are diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, make sure to consult our expert doctors. They will guarantee a suitable diagnosis and give you treatment depending on the symptoms.


Can pulmonary embolism cause stroke?

Yes, since pulmonary embolism causes blood clots, it can also lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Can drugs cause pulmonary embolism?

Yes, people who are involved in drugs such as cocaine, and illicit drugs are at high risk of pulmonary embolism.

Can you feel a pulmonary embolism?

Yes, you can feel pulmonary embolism and feel like you are having a heart attack and the pain is quite severe while you are breathing. 


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