What Is Pulmonary Embolism?

Q:

What is pulmonary embolism?

A:

Pulmonary embolism refers to a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries, major blood vessels, in the lungs. The disease are usually not fatal despite of the damage to the lungs. However, prompt treatments are needed if the clots prevent blood from flowing to the lung, which is life-threatening.

In most cases, pulmonary embolism is the result of a clump, usually a blood clot, in the leg that travels to the lungs. Pulmonary embolism is usually caused by blood clots in deep veins instead of those close to the skin. Other things that can form clots in an artery include tumors, air bubbles, amniotic fluid, or fat that is released into the blood vessels from a broken bone. However, these cases are rare.

One of the complications by pulmonary embolism is pulmonary hypertension. In pulmonary hypertension, the blood pressure in the right side of the heart is too high. What’s worse, if clots are formed in the pulmonary arteries, the heart must work harder so that it can push blood through those vessels. Over time, the heart will be weakened due to the high blood pressure in the vessels and the right side of the heart.

 

Keywords: pulmonary embolism heart

 

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.