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PULMONARY EMBOLISM: Causes, Signs and Treatment

PULMONARY EMBOLISM: Causes, Signs and Treatment

What is a pulmonary embolism?

Pulmonary Embolism Definition: The Pulmonary Embolism is a severe disease in which there is an incomplete or full cessation of a blood vessel in the lung (pulmonary artery branch). It is caused by an embolus, it can be anything that travels through vessels and causes obstruction at any point. The risk of dying from a pulmonary embolus is very high as it drives to a poor supply of oxygen as well as overloading of the heart. Accordingly, if a suspicious condition is observed, a diagnosis should be made as soon as possible and the treatment initiated.

Depending on the degree of severity and location in the lungs, the embolism can be symptom-free or very extreme with an acute danger of life. Frequently, it is not even recognized by doctors in time or in part. If the seal remains untreated, this leads to death in more than 30 percent of these patients. If, however, the arterial occlusion is diagnosed and treated properly, the mortality rate drops to two to eight percent.


Pulmonary Embolism Causes: In more than 80 percent of cases, blood clots from pelvic or leg veins affected by thrombosis are the cause of pulmonary embolism. Certain patients include risk groups and are more likely to have thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

Other Pulmonary Embolism Causes :

In very rare cases, no blood clot is responsible for the blockage of the arteries. The diagnosis of these pulmonary embolisms is even more difficult since the otherwise used tests can not detect micro embolisms (ie very small occlusions).

The reason for this are different cell types and particles:

  • fat cells
  • tumor cells
  • Cells of the amnion (a skin in the fruit-tree surrounding the unborn child)
  • Cells from the trophoblast (cell layer responsible for feeding the unborn child)
  • Cells from the bone marrow
  • Fruit water (enters the blood circulation during or shortly after birth)
  • air

Also, body-borne objects can be pulmonary embolism causes:

  • bacteria
  • mushrooms
  • parasites
  • Foreign bodies (such as Palacios, the bone cement used in the insertion of endoprostheses)
  • gas


Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms: The pulmonary embolism symptoms are very unspecific and can, therefore, indicate many pathologies. Not even the combination of certain ailments can provide a clear indication of the presence of this disease. These symptoms are indicative of an acute pulmonary embolism:

  • Dyspnoea (dyspnoea)
  • Suddenly starting tachypnea (increase of the respiratory rate)
  • Thoracic pain (thorax: chest)
  • Hemoptyses (coughing of blood-containing secretions)
  • Syncope (circulatory collapse)
  • Signs of deep venous thrombosis = one-sided swelling of a limb

Furthermore, these pulmonary embolism symptoms may occur:

  • to cough
  • fever
  • One-sided leg pain

If the cause of the embolism is not in a migrating blood clot (thrombus), similar symptoms occur as in a thrombotic pulmonary embolism.

PULMONARY EMBOLISM: Causes, Signs and Treatment


Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism: For patients suffering from the acute form, rapid pulmonary embolism treatment is vital. Depending on the severity and history of the disease, different methods are also used in combination.

In the pulmonary embolism treatment between lung embolisms with high, intermediate-high, intermediate-low and low risk, the consequences of the disease will be dosed within the next 30 days. This early mortality risk is determined by all available patient data, initial risk group assessments, probabilities and test results. In general, in the case of an acute closure of the pulmonary vessels medicines are administered for the inhibition of blood coagulation (eg heparin).

If the risk is high, the focus in pulmonary embolism treatment is also on a quick removal of the object that blocks the veins. Patients with intermediate-high risk are initially only well-monitored in order to initiate the same treatment as for a high risk if the condition is worsened. Patients with the intermediate low and low group are also treated in the hospital with anticoagulants. In the case of low risk, an early release is possible in part if a good care is provided by a specialist physician.

The duration of pulmonary embolism treatment with anticoagulants may vary. Depending on whether the pulmonary embolism was provoked – ie with a previous risk factor such as a myocardial infarction in the last three months or unprovoked (in the absence of such risk factors), the means for inhibiting blood clotting should be taken between a few weeks and several months. The question whether the risk factors are temporary (such as pregnancy) or immutable (such as autoimmune diseases) also has an influence on the duration of treatment.

Scientifically Proven:PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION: Types. Signs, Causes and Treatment!

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