pulmonary embolism is a cardiovascular condition that affects about 1 in 1,000 individuals in the United States each year. A pulmonary embolism is considered one of the most common cardiovascular issues in the U.S. This condition, typically known more commonly as a blood clot, prevents oxygen from getting to the lungs. Thus, making a pulmonary embolism considered a life-threatening condition.
The ’embolus’ in the pulmonary embolism forms in the body, and circulates throughout the blood stream. At some point, the blood clot blocks the blood flow in a certain part of the body; typically, the lungs.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are vital to the survivor of the inflicted. Knowing the correct pulmonary embolism resources can mean the difference between life and death. Although there are many ways to develop PE, there are thankfully many ways to treat it, and symptoms to look for.
Let’s take a look at some of the common symptoms associated with this cardiovascular condition.
What are the Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism?
It is vital that you understand and recognize the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism. Many of these symptoms are often overlooked and even confused with other conditions.
- Increase or irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Sharp pain that increased while breathing in
- Rapid breathing
- Dizziness, being light-headed
- A cough that produces mucus or blood
There are additional symptoms that are considered ‘severe’. These symptoms include, loss of consciousness, shock, cardiac arrest, and then death.
You can find a full list of signs and symptoms by checking out this page from WebMD.
What Treatment Options are Available for a Pulmonary Embolism?
There are many treatment options available for those who suffer from a pulmonary embolism. Treatment options aim to reduce the growth of the clot, prevent additional blood clots, and destroy any already developed clots.
Typically, the first step in treating an embolism is to treat shock in the patient, and to supply oxygen. Another treatment consists of administering an anticoagulant, and other blood thinners. Additionally, medication for high blood pressure can also be used. Any medication used to treat the pulmonary embolism should be continued for an additional duration of time. This is generally continued for around 3 months.
Check out this page from the ACC on additional management techniques.
How can I Prevent a Pulmonary Embolism?
There are many things a person can do in terms of prevention. Let’s take a look at some of the tips you can utilize to help in the prevention of cardiovascular conditions such as an embolism.
- Anticoagulant medications such as heparin
- Compression of the legs via compression stockings
- Proper exercise to increase proper blood flow
Blood clots can form from amniotic fluid retention or fat droplets. By getting proper exercise and eating healthy you can reduce the occurrence of a blood clot. Smoking can also increase your risk for blood clots. By knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available, you can help create awareness for not only yourself, but your family as well.