What is Pulmonary Embolism?
Pulmonary Embolism is a condition in which a blood clot obstructs the vessels of the lung. This restricts the flow of the blood in the lungs causing low oxygen levels of oxygen in blood.
A blood clot originates from the deep blood vessels of our lower extremities/limbs or pelvis region. From there it travels to the right side of the heart, flows through blood vessels to the lung and gets lodged in the blood vessels of the lung.
Pulmonary embolism can occur in the acute setting as well as in the chronic or more longstanding condition.
What causes the clot to develop?
There are certain risk factors, which predispose to development of a clot in the deep veins of the legs. Immobility due to recent major surgery such as abdominal or orthopaedic surgery, immobility due to medical conditions like stroke specially that which causes lower limbs paralysis, severe muscular weakness due to any illness, hormonal treatments and some clinical conditions which alter our clotting system and lead to development of the clots.
How do I know I have Pulmonary Embolism?
Shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fatigue, and occasionally blood-tinged sputum are some of the symptoms experienced by patients with pulmonary embolism. As some other diseases also manifest with similar symptoms, a thorough investigation is required to rule out the other possibilities and diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.