Blood Clot in Lung: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Pulmonary Embolism

What causes a pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when there is an imbalance between procoagulant and anticoagulant factors in the body. The most common risk factor for pulmonary embolism is prolonged immobility. Other risk factors include a personal history of venous thromboembolism, previous or current pregnancy, and certain medical conditions.

When you’re immobilized for a very long time, the blood becomes stagnant, and the flow is turbulent in some veins, especially if you have baseline circulation problems. If that’s your case, there’s a chance that you will form blood clots in the blood vessels with turbulent flow, which are usually found in your legs. Then, the blood clot moves through your circulation, reaches the lungs, and creates something similar to a cardiac infarction but in the lung tissue.

The risk is higher if you had previous venous thromboembolism. Past episodes that remain without treatment can complicate further and lead to a life-threatening condition because you’re not actually solving the problem. You could say that deep vein thrombosis was a warning sign before this happened, and it is up to you to find medical treatment before the problem gets worse.

Pregnancy and some medical conditions can increase your chances of pulmonary embolism. But why is that?

Your body is working overtime to provide nutrients for the baby. The womb increases in size and obstructs some arteries and veins, causing a turbulent flow. All of this puts your blood flow into overdrive, making it more likely that blood clots will form. Pregnant women or those with certain medical conditions are at a greater risk of developing pulmonary embolism. So, if you have any baseline blood clotting condition, you want to mention that to your doctor in your next visit to follow up on your pregnancy.