What do you understand by the term pulmonary embolism?
Blockage of arties in the lungs due the passage or movement of substance from blood through the bloodstream is known pulmonary embolism. This usually results by a blood clot in the leg which travels to the lung. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism are mentioned below-
- Chest pain particularly on coughing up blood and breathing in.
- Shortness of the breast
Blood clot in the leg may also be found such as a swollen, red, painful and a warm leg.
What are the signs of pulmonary embolism?
Signs of pulmonary embolism include many features which are listed below-
- Rapid breathing
- Low oxygen level
- Rapid heart rate
- Mild fever (sometimes)
The severe cases of pulmonary embolism can lead to features listed below-
- Abnormally low blood pressure
- Passing out
- Sudden death
The above listed points come under complications too.
What are the risk factors?
There are certain risk factors coming under pulmonary embolism. Factors which increases the risk of blood clots are as follows-
- Smoking stroke
- Prolonged bed rest
- Certain genetic conditions
- Estrogen-based medication
- After surgery (can be of any type)
- There are even few cases which occur due to embolization of fat, amniotic fluid or air.
What are the diagnoses of pulmonary embolism?
The diagnosis basically depends on symptoms, signs and in combination with the tests. Pulmonary embolism is diagnosed through the following-
- If the risk is less than a blood test known as D-dimer rules out the condition
- Else lung ventilation/ perfusion scan, CT pulmonary angiography or ultrasound of the legs confirms the diagnosis.
- Together PE and deep vein thrombosis are known as venous thromboembolism i.e. VTE in abbreviation.
What are the efforts to prevent pulmonary embolism?
- Move as soon as possible i.e. after the surgery the patient should move as early as possible to prevent any kind of clot.
- Excise involving lower leg should be done i.e. during period of sitting there should be a practice of regular exercise while sitting itself.
- Blood thinner should be used after any kind of surgery. Treatment is basically with blood thinners such as warfarin or heparin. These are often recommended for six months or may be longer.
- Severe cases involve the requirement of thrombolysis under medication such as tissue plasminogen activator i.e. tPA or may require a surgery knows as pulmonary thrombectomy.
How is pulmonary embolism prevented?
People admitted should receive preventative medication which includes low molecular weight heparin (LMWH), fondaparinux, unfractionated heparin and anti-thrombosis stocking which reduces the risk of a DVT in the leg which could lead to dislodgement and may migrate to lungs. The long-term use of aspirin is useful for preventing recurrence.
What is the treatment of pulmonary embolism?
The mainstay treatment involves anticoagulant therapy. The supportive, acute treatment such as analgesia or oxygen may be required. People are often admitted in the early stages of treatment to the hospital and tend to remain under care until INR reaches the therapeutic level.