Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot, or thrombis, that occurs in the arteries of the lung. Frequently this comes from a deep venous thrombosis. A pulmonary embolism is a life threatening condition and if suspected you should immediately consult a physician.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolus is usually difficulty in breathing, fast heart rate, and coughing up blood. Not all symptoms are present in each individual with a pulmonary embolism.

Causes of a pulmonary embolism is most frequently from a thrombis that has traveled through the blood stream from a distant location. This commonly is from a deep venous thrombosis.

Diagnosisof a pulmonary embolism is usually by pulmonary angiography, or by a ventilation/perfusion lung scan, also called a V/Q scan.

Treatment once a diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism is made is usually aimed at thinning the blood to prevent further formation of clots and at dissulution of the embolus. This treatment usually is started in the hospital where you are closely monitored. The treatment may continue for 6-12 weeks or put on a lifetime level of medication for further prevention.