Pulmonary embolism is a condition that occurs when the arteries get blocked due to blood clots or other foreign particles. Though a common cardiovascular condition, Pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening as blood clots block the blood flow.
The symptoms involved are highly variable depending on the involvement of the lungs or heart.
However, some of the general signs include:
Shortness of breath: This sign occurs suddenly and can get worse with exertion.
Chest pain: Chest pain caused to pulmonary embolism can mimic heart attack. It can get worse with deep breathing, coughing, eating, stooping, exertion. The pain might not relieve even in resting condition.
Coughing: Sever cough with blood in sputum.
Pain: Pain and swelling in legs or in calf.
Other symptoms may include fever, discoloration of the skin, over sweating, irregularities in heart beat and dizziness.
The factors that influence the occurrence of pulmonary embolism is mainly due to deep vein thrombosis. In deep vein thrombosis, blood clots travel from the deep veins of legs to the pulmonary artery.
It can also be caused by prolonged immobilization, birth control pills, cancer, pregnancy, surgery, damaged blood vessels, and genetic predisposition.
The risk of a pulmonary embolism increases with age. Smoking habits, overweight, taking hormone supplements also increases the risk of developing pulmonary embolism.
Prevention and Treatment:
The condition can be prevented with the help of blood thinners, compression stocking i.e. squeezing legs for muscle and vein movement allowing efficient movement of blood.
Further, leg elevation, drinking more fluids, physical activities, wearing support stockings are some other ways to prevent pulmonary embolism.