Pulmonary Embolism

A pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal, occurs when a clot becomes trapped in a lung, blocking the oxygen supply and causing heart failure. The majority of pulmonary embolisms are caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT). With early treatment, those with DVT can reduce their chances of developing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism to less than one percent. Blood thinners like Heparin and Coumadin® are effective in preventing further clotting and can prevent a pulmonary embolism from occurring.

Some symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, rapid pulse, sweating, sharp chest pain, coughing up blood and fainting. The symptoms frequently are nonspecific and can mimic many other cardiopulmonary events.

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