Pulmonary Embolism: Overview

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:39 by admin
An embolism is a blockage of a blood vessel (occasionally a vein or capillary) caused by a blood clot, air bubble, or material such as plaque. An embolism is dangerous because it may interfere with the body's supply of oxygen-rich blood. If certain tissues in the body do not receive an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood, they may stop functioning.

A pulmonary embolism occurs when the pulmonary artery, a vital artery that supplies the lungs with oxygen-rich blood, is blocked. Pulmonary embolisms occur in approximately 600,000 Americans each year, and cause 55,000 deaths annually.

Someone suffering from a pulmonary embolism is likely to experience symptoms including, but not necessarily limited to, chest pain, lightheadedness or dizziness from low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and coughing (which may become bloody).

This is a serious medical condition that requires emergency treatment.

There are some factors that increase the likelihood of a pulmonary embolism. Certain medications such as hormone replacement therapy drugs, birth control medications, at least one type of cancer medication, and some types of osteoporosis drugs may increase the risk slightly. The primary risk factor, however, is inactivity or immobilization for extended periods of time.

See Also

  1. Lung & Airway Disorders
  2. ED: Overview
  3. Femodene: Overview
  4. Marvelon: Overview
  5. Mercilon: Overview
  6. Minulet: Overview
  7. Nolvadex / Tamoxifen Citrate: Overview
  8. Triadene: Overview
  9. Tri-minulet: Overview
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