What is Pulmonary Embolism and what causes it?
What Is Pulmonary Embolism?
Pulmonary Embolism refers to a blockage in the main artery of the lung or one of its branches. This is caused by a substance that has travelled from somewhere else in the body and in through the bloodstream.
What Causes Pulmonary Embolism?
This is a common result of deep vein thrombosis, where a blood clot breaks off and then migrates into the lung, in a process known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). This blockage could be caused by numerous factors, including embolization of air, talc in drugs of intravenous drug users, fat, or amniotic fluid. The obstruction of the blood flow to the lungs and the resulting pressure on the ventricle of the heart can lead to the signs of PE.
Symptoms can include chest pain, difficulty breathing, and palpitations; clinical signs can include rapid breathing and heart rate, along with a low blood oxygen saturation rate. In severe cases, Pulmonary Embolism will lead to extremely low blood pressure, collapse, and even sudden death.