A pulmonary embolism is when a blood clot becomes stucked in an artery in your lungs and blocks the flow of blood to the lungs. Although this is a serious medical condition, it is very treatable if done immediately. If not treated quickly, pulmonary embolism can cause heart or lung damage and can be life-threatening.
Always consult a pulmonologist if you notice signs and symptoms that you have a problem with your lungs. Contact the best pulmonologist in Brooklyn by visiting Doral Health and Wellness Pulmonary Center.
If a clot develops in a vein and stays there, it is called a thrombus. But if the clot detaches from the wall of the vein and travels to another part of your body, it is called an embolus.
Symptoms for pulmonary embolism will vary depending on the severity of your clot. Some people with pulmonary embolism experience symptom, while some others do not. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Pain similar to symptoms of heart attack, such as unexplained pain in the chest, arm, shoulder, neck or jaw
- Cough with or without bloody sputum
- Irregular heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
- Low blood pressure
- In some cases, passing out, fainting or light headedness can be experienced
Blood clots form for a variety of reasons. But blood clots that begins in the legs or pelvis most often causes pulmonary embolism. A part of the clot breaks off and travel through the blood to another area of your body, oftentimes to your lungs.
Other less common causes of pulmonary embolism can include:
- Amniotic fluid embolus
- Air bubbles
- Deep vein thrombosis in the upper body
- A fat embolus
Risk factors for pulmonary embolism can include:
- Genetic condition that can increase the risk of blood clot
- Family history of blood clotting
- History of blood clotting
- Surgery or injury, especially to the legs
- Enlarged vein in the legs
- Certain medical conditions, such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
- Old age
Treatment for pulmonary embolism will depend on the size and location of your blood clot. For problems that are minor and are caught early, the doctor may recommend medication as treatment, because small clots can be broken down by some drugs. Your doctor may prescribe:
- Anticoagulants – also known as blood thinners. These medications are used to prevent new clots from forming in the blood
- Clot dissolvers – these drugs break down blood clot to improve blood flow
Surgery is advised to patients who have problematic clots and needs urgent medical assistance. Some procedures your doctor may recommend are:
- Catheter directed methods – this procedure is used to suck out, break down or dissolve clots in your pulmonary artery
- Open surgery – this procedure is only used in emergency situations and when all other medication and procedure is not doable
A pulmonary embolism can be very dangerous, so it is very important that you immediately consult your doctor if you experience signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
At Doral Health and Wellness Pulmonary Center, we offer the best possible expertise and care in all aspects of pulmonology. Visit our pulmonologists to have your signs and symptoms checked. To schedule an appointment, you can visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11212, or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also visit our website at https://pulmonologistbrooklyn.com.