Pulmonary Embolism - Symptoms and TreatmentA lung embolus (pulmonary embolism) occurs when a blood vessel supplying the lung becomes clogged up by a clot - a lump of coagulated blood.
The clot may have travelled in the bloodstream from a vein in the pelvis, abdomen or in the leg; through the veins of the body, through the heart and into the lung. A damaged heart can also be the cause of these clots.
Clots are most likely to form in association with any of the following:
Signs and symptoms
These symptoms are often preceded by swelling and pain in the leg or thigh.
Thrombolytic therapy (clot-dissolving medication) includes streptokinase, urokinase, or t-PA. Anticoagulation therapy (clot-preventing medication) consists of heparin by intravenous infusion initially, then oral warfarin (Coumadin). Subcutaneous low-molecular weight heparin is often substituted for intravenous heparin in many circumstances.
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