How Serious Is a Pulmonary Embolism?
Pulmonary embolism or PE is a serious issue, as it leads to death when left untreated. The occurrence of pulmonary embolism or PE is due to the blockage of the blood flow created due to a clot in the blood vessel in the lung. In many of the cases, the clots are small. However, when left untreated and due to other health conditions, there is a chance for the clots to increase in size and break free from the vein to enter the bloodstream.
Symptoms Observed During the Situation
It is difficult to find whether an individual is suffering from pulmonary embolism or PE instantly. However, the following symptoms will be helpful in diagnosing the case:
- Sudden development of shortness of breath
- Chest pain that becomes worse during breathing or a cough
- A cough that brings out pink mucus.
Other signs include sweating a lot, anxiousness, lightheadedness, and increase in heart rate. If you are going through such symptoms, then it is preferable to seek immediate medical emergency.
Reason for The Occurrence of Pulmonary Embolism or PE
The reason for the existence of pulmonary embolism or PE is due to blood clot. The clot appears in the deep vein in the legs due to deep vein thrombosis condition. It is genetic and appears among older adults due to lack of regular movement of the legs. According to statistics, around 300,000 people develop the disease each year alone and the number is always on the higher side, as detecting the presence of the deep vein thrombosis is difficult.
Risk Factors that Increase the Seriousness of Pulmonary Embolism or PE
Anything that has a connection to the formation of a blood clot is likely to be an excellent cause for increasing the severity of the pulmonary embolism. While a few are born with the clots, few inherit over the period due to family history of deep vein thrombosis. Other risks increasing factors include the following:
Being inactive with no movement in the legs is the main reason for the cause of the clots. The case is high when a person is resting on the bed for an extended period, probably after a serious surgery, and during long trips where there is no movement of the legs, especially during a long flight and car trips.
- Surgery to hips, brain, or belly
- Symptoms that point towards the appearance of cancer or heart attack and the occurrence of severe infections
- Childbirth and pregnancy – the risk is further high if it is a cesarean section
- Undergoing hormone therapy or using contraceptive pills
- Use of tobacco products.
Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism or PE
Diagnosis for pulmonary embolism or PE involves the doctor seeking information from the patient by asking a series of questions related to the condition. The physician will further carry out physical examinations to conclude the scenario. All these will help in deciding whether the person is suffering from pulmonary embolism or possesses the high risk for its occurrence.
Based on the risk factor, the person will undergo tests to determine whether there is any presence of blood clots in the body. CT scan, ECG, MRI, and ultrasound are the best methods to gain detailed information related to the same.
Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism or PE
Depending on the gravity of the condition, the doctor will choose medications and asks the patient to participate in physical exercises such as swimming, jogging, walking, and running to treat pulmonary embolism or PE. All these help in the movement of the muscles, which squeeze the blood and help in making it flow without any clots. Medications include the use of anticoagulants that help in thinning the blood. It is also necessary to follow the preventive measures to keep away from the reoccurrence of the illness.