Symptoms

Pulmonary embolism

Symptoms and Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism

Symptoms: 

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain that worsens with deep breaths or coughing, rapid heartbeat, coughing up blood, feeling lightheaded or dizzy, and fainting.

It generally is caused by a clot in the large veins of the legs and pelvis which become dislodged and travel up to the heart and then into the lungs causing the above symptoms.

Treatment:

  • Anticoagulant therapy: 

Medications like heparin or warfarin help prevent blood clots from getting bigger and stop new clots from forming.

  • Thrombolytic therapy: 

In severe cases, clot-dissolving medications may be administered to quickly dissolve the clot.

  • Embolectomy: 

Surgical removal of the clot in emergency situations.

  • Inferior vena cava filter: 

A filter placed in the large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart, to prevent clots from reaching the lungs.

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