PULMONARY EMBOLISM (Blood Clots in the Lungs)
What is Pulmonary Embolism?
A Pulmonary Embolism occurs when a blood clot in one part of the body (often in the arm or leg) travels through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in the blood vessels of the lung. When a clot forms in a vein and stays there, it is called a thrombus; when it breaks free from the vein’s wall and travels to another part of the body, it is called an embolus.. Pulmonary Embolism (PE) if not treated promptly can become life-threatening as the clots block the blood flow to the lungs.
What are the Symptoms Of Pulmonary Embolism?
Most people who have Pulmonary Embolism generally have no symptoms. But one should always keep an eye and notice the changes occurring in their body. It also depends on how much of your lung is implicated, the size of the clots, and other factors. There are some common signs also a person should look at, such as:-
- Shortness of Breath: This symptom usually appears unexpectedly and worsens with strenuous activity. This is by far the most common issue.
- Cough: Normal or cough with bloody mucus.
- Chest Pain: Sharp pain in your arm, chest, shoulder, neck. This pain is pretty similar to the symptoms of a Heart attack.
There’s a chance you have blood clots but aren’t aware of it because you haven’t experienced any symptoms., so discuss your risk factors with a pulmonologist doctor.
How is Pulmonary Embolism detected?
There are no major symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism, so looking at the complete medical history, physical exam, and conducting some tests will help to detect the problem. The tests include:-
- Chest X-Ray: The lungs and heart are scanned with this imaging technique. X-rays of the heart, lungs, bronchi (big breathing tubes), aorta and pulmonary arteries, and mediastinum provide information about their size, shape, contour, and anatomic location (area in the middle of the chest separating the lungs).
- Computed tomography (CT) scan: This is an imaging test that uses x-rays and computers to create detailed images of the body. You can see the details of bones, muscles, organs, and fat using a CT scan. Contrast is a dye-like material that is injected into a vein and causes the organ or tissue being studied to appear more clearly on a scan.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of imaging that uses radio waves to create a picture of the imaging procedure and creates detailed images of organs and structures within the body using a magnetic field, radio frequencies, and a computer.
These are a few of the tests that can be performed to detect this deadly issue. But these can only be performed under the supervision of a chest specialist or pulmonologist doctor.
What are the treatments and medications?
If you have Pulmonary Embolism (PE) then it is advisable to get the treatment right away. These are some of the treatments/medications that can be given to a person having pulmonary embolism depending on the medical condition.
- Anticoagulants:- Another name for anticoagulants is blood thinners, these medicines are used to decrease the thickness of the blood clots and prevent it from forming new blood clots in the future. It comes in the form of a pill, an injection, and also I.V. (intravenous).
- Thrombolytics:- These medications are also known as “clot busters” because they aid in the dissolution of blood clots. These can only be given under the supervision of a lung specialist doctor because these are some high-level medications with help in dissolving large blood clots and thrombolytic medications can also cause sudden bleeding.
- Catheter-assisted thrombus removal:- In this procedure, a flexible tube is used to reach the position of the blood clot in your lung. A pulmonologist doctor or a lung specialist uses this tube to insert a tool in this tube to break the blood clots and also to deliver medicine.
- A Vena Cava Filter:- The filter catches blood clots before they travel to the lungs, which prevents pulmonary embolism. The filter, however, does not prevent new blood clots from developing.
Is it possible to prevent Pulmonary Embolism?
- Take blood thinners as usual. It’s also crucial to visit your doctor on a frequent basis to ensure that the dosage of your medications is effective in preventing blood clots without causing bleeding.
- Changes in your lifestyle that are good for your heart, such as heart-healthy eating, exercise, and, if you smoke, quit.
- Compression stockings are used to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (DVT). When sitting for long periods of time, move your legs (such as on long trips)
- After surgery, you should be able to move around as quickly as possible rather than being restricted to a bed.
This is not a normal health issue, one should take it very seriously as this is a pretty serious issue and one should immediately consult the best lung specialist or a pulmonologist who can help them understand the severity of PE and the treatment according to it. Dr. Satya Ranjan Sahu is one of the best chest specialists in Delhi NCR whom you can consult if you are dealing with any type of lung problem. He is one of the best pulmonologists in Delhi who has years of experience in treating the problem of Pulmonary Embolism. So, refer to Dr. Satya Ranjan Sahu, the best pulmonologist in Delhi and Gurugram because if not treated immediately PE can quickly cause serious life-threatening consequences and death.