Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Blood Clot Lung Overview

Another name for Blood Clot Lung is Pulmonary Embolism.

What is a pulmonary embolism?
An embolism is a clot that travels through the bloodstream. A person with a pulmonary embolism has a blood clot blocking the flow of blood through an artery in the lung. In most cases, the blood clot forms in the lower extremities, and then travels to the lungs through the bloodstream. A pulmonary embolism prevents blood from reaching a part of the lung. This blood is unable pick up oxygen, which reduces the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. About 700,000 people develop a pulmonary embolus each year in the US.

What are the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism?
Common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include chest pain, difficulty breathing, cough, and coughing up blood. Less common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include fever, palpitations, rapid heart rate, excessive sweating, wheezing, dizziness, fainting and confusion.

How does the doctor treat a pulmonary embolism?
The initial treatment for a pulmonary embolism includes blood thinners. Additional treatment for a severe pulmonary embolism may include clot-busting medications, and surgery to place a filter in the bloodstream. The filter prevents another embolus from reaching the lungs.

Continue to Blood Clot Lung Incidence

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Blood Clot Lung References
  1. Fedullo PF, Tapson VF. Clinical practice. The evaluation of suspected pulmonary embolism. N Engl J Med. 2003 Sep 25;349(13):1247-56. [14507950]
  2. Kruip MJ, Leclercq MG, van der Heul C, Prins MH, Buller HR. Diagnostic strategies for excluding pulmonary embolism in clinical outcome studies. A systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Jun 17;138(12):941-51. [12809450]
  3. Roberts KE, Hamele-Bena D, Saqi A, Stein CA, Cole RP. Pulmonary tumor embolism: a review of the literature. Am J Med. 2003 Aug 15;115(3):228-32. [12935829]
  4. Roy PM, Colombet I, Durieux P, Chatellier G, Sors H, Meyer G. Systematic review and meta-analysis of strategies for the diagnosis of suspected pulmonary embolism. BMJ. 2005 Jul 30;331(7511):259. [16052017]
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