Can You Survive From a Pulmonary Embolism?

Surviving pulmonary embolism or PE is possible, and the survival rate is high only if it is possible to detect in its early stage and receive the appropriate treatment quickly. It is possible that many people think detecting pulmonary embolism or PE is easy, which is fatal like few diseases. When compared with others, it is not possible to detect the presence of pulmonary embolism or PE until a person shows the symptoms.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute assert that the following typical signs are common among patients who display pulmonary embolism or PE:

  1. Feeling shortness of breath for no reason
  2. Feeling sharp pain in the chest with every breath
  3. Coughing blood.

The individual suffering from pulmonary embolism or PE will feel the symptoms more painful when he/she breathes deeper. Additionally, they can become continuous and unrelenting. Attending to the symptoms of pulmonary embolism is essential, as they do not go away.

Reason for the Occurrence of Pulmonary Embolism or PE

The development of pulmonary embolism or PE is due to the formation of clots in the deep veins of the body, especially in the legs, which travel to the lungs. The formation of clots in deep veins is a disorder known as deep vein thrombosis. The development occurs suddenly, but in many of the cases, the symptoms grow gradually, making one fall prey to pulmonary embolism or PE over time.

The symptoms and individual will face in the early stages of pulmonary embolism or PE includes:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Passing out
  3. Lightheadedness
  4. Sweating
  5. Rapid heartbeat.

The development of deep vein thrombosis will be the indication that the person can develop pulmonary embolism or PE when left untreated. The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include discolored or redness in the affected region, swelling, tenderness, and warm. Any person experiencing these symptoms will have to consult a doctor at the earliest to prevent further growth of the clots and turn them into a pulmonary embolism or PE.

Diagnosing Pulmonary Embolism or PE

If a person shows signs of pulmonary embolism or PE, the doctor will perform a series of physical examinations related to heart and lungs along with BP, breathing rate, and heartbeat rate. Depending on these, the doctor will perform other tests that include ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI.

Can You Survive From a Pulmonary Embolism?

Can You Survive From a Pulmonary Embolism?

Upon detecting the presence of pulmonary embolism or PE, the doctor will start immediately with the treatment procedure. The key to surviving pulmonary embolism or PE also depends on the clots size. For example, if the clot is small in size, it is possible to treat using anticoagulants when caught in early stages. Bigger clots and multiple clots that block the flow of blood leads to a dangerous situation when untreated. It is here that speedy treatment is necessary.

The treatment begins with oral or injection consisting of anticoagulants, mostly warfarin and heparin. They help in thinning the blood, which assists in reducing the growth of clots and also delay the size of the clot of the existing ones. The doctor will prescribe the use of the medication for 3 to 6 months depending on the size of the clot and the result shown by the patient.

Additionally, the treatment can be tricky when patients have large clots and low blood pressure. In such situations, doctors opt for the use of thrombolytic, a high scheduled drug that helps in dissolving the clots quickly. On some occasions, the doctors will insert a catheter through the groin and reach to the region of the clot to remove it or use medicine to dissolve the clot directly.

Though a pulmonary embolism or PE is fatal, the survival rate is excellent if the clot is stable in size, identified in an early stage, and offered with quick treatment.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 19, 2018

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