The medical community is continuously aiming to raise awareness of various medical conditions. Pharmaceutical companies are targeting their audiences about new medications available for different medical conditions. Raising awareness or bringing certain critical medical conditions to mind, helps in saving lives and educating people about the disease to seek medical attention in a timely manner. Another medical condition that is definitely one to make everyone aware of, called Pulmonary Embolism. The symptoms to pay attention to and the treatment that is needed can save a life.
Pulmonary Embolism effects thousands of people every year. Some people may have heard about DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). DVT is a blood clot that has developed in the lower part of the legs. The blood pools in the legs due to poor circulation, and the blood that sits there kind of stagnant forms small clots, and when the circulation increases the clots start traveling. The clot travels upward until it reaches the main Pulmonary Artery of the lung. This is common in people that have cancer, prolonged bed rest, surgical patients, people that ride long hours without taking the time to get up and move around or walk. Long air-plane rides, these people are at risk of developing a PE.
The person that is experiencing a Pulmonary Embolism will be short of breath, may have chest pain on inspiration and palpitations. They will become cyanotic, have low blood oxygen saturation, rapid respiration, rapid heart rate, and may verbalize impending doom. In severe cases of PE, the person may collapse, have low blood pressure and can die suddenly. It is very critical to intervene quickly in this situation.
There are a few tests that the physician may order to diagnose PE. Lab test, D-dimer, imaging studies CT pulmonary angiography (VQ scan). Once the medical diagnosis has been made treatment usually is geared toward administration of anti-coagulants (heparin and coumadin). In the more severe cases, TPA may be ordered by the physician. Sometimes surgery is needed to perform a pulmonary thrombosis. Seek medical attention immediately if there is a concern that a person may be experiencing the signs or symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism. Early intervention is key in providing a healthy outcome and saving a life.