Pulmonary Embolism

A life threating condition caused by a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. In most cases, PE, is caused by blood clots that from legs to lungs from the legs a condition call DVT(deep vein thrombosis).  Symptoms include but not limited to Shortness of breath, cough, irregular heart beat, palpitations, calf swelling, sweating, chest pain worse with deep breath, these symptoms usually appear suddenly with a sense of impending doom. Common risk factors for this dangerous condition are history of cancer, lack of mobility like in long trips and specially bed-ridden patients, pregnancy, obesity, and smoking, birth control pills. Complications include death in one third of patients and pulmonary hypertension.  Prevention methods include but not limited to blood thinners, stop smoking, weight loss, pneumatic compression, on high risk patients like bed ridden patients, physical activity, ambulating while on long trips.  Diagnosis is made via examination, history taking, EKG, spiral CT scan, Pulmonary angiogram, venous doppler ultrasound of lower extremities, blood test D-Dimer, chest x-ray.  Treatment consists of blood thinners (anti-coagulants), Clot dissolver (thrombolytics), surgical removal of clot, vein filters.