Most patients with a pulmonary embolism were caught up in surprise. One moment they were at home doing anything and everything, and the next, they were in the emergency room going through a life-threatening condition. A blood clot in the lung is a severe complication of a somewhat common ailment, and some people don’t even realize they have it until it is too late.
We have described in two articles everything patients should know about deep vein thrombosis, which is often described as a blood clot in the leg. But what if the blood clot in the leg travels to another part of the body? What if you have the same problem in your lungs?
In this article, we’re going to describe one of the most feared complications of deep vein thrombosis, known as pulmonary embolism. We’re describing what it is about, how it feels, how it’s diagnosed and treated, and how to prevent this from happening to you.
What is a pulmonary embolism?
Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition that develops when blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs and pelvic region, but then the same blood clot travels through the bloodstream and reaches the lungs leading to obstruction of the pulmonary arteries.
The incidence of pulmonary embolism in the elderly population is approximately two times higher than in the younger age group. However, there are still cases of pulmonary embolism in younger people, and many of them are not correctly diagnosed and are taken as chronic conditions.
Pulmonary embolism is a leading cause of death in hospitalized patients. The incidence of this disease has been estimated at 1 per 1000 persons annually in the United States, with at least 650,000 cases occurring each year. As mentioned above, pulmonary embolism is more common in hospitalized patients than in the general population. However, if you have deep vein thrombosis, the risk of pulmonary embolism will be 60-80%, depending on each case. Pulmonary embolism is the most feared complication of deep vein thrombosis.