Becoming more common each year, many, if not all of us, have known someone suffering from a pulmonary embolism, an extremely dangerous condition that can lead to death if untreated. Occurring most often in the middle aged and elderly, younger people can also fall victim to a pulmonary embolism, especially after surgery or an injury. No one is completely immune, and preventing pulmonary embolism is very important. Because of the risks, if you suspect that your cough and shortness of breath is a sign of a PE, immediate medical treatment is required; waiting to see how it plays out is not an option.
What is a Pulmonary Embolism?
A pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot blocking an artery or blood vessel in the lung. Pulmonary embolisms are often preceded by deep vein thrombosis and can be deadly. Blood clots in veins close to the surface of the skin are usually not dangerous, but should be examined by your physician as well, just to be safe.
Signs of pulmonary embolism include, but aren’t limited to: difficulty breathing, pain in your chest, and a cough. You may also notice that you are feeling dizzy, your heart is beating irregularly, and you are breathing irregularly. Visible symptoms include swelling and discoloration of the skin.
What Treatments are Available for PE?
The first step is a quick diagnosis of PE. Once it has been determined you have a pulmonary embolism, treatment will begin immediately. Treatments are meant to not just destroy the clot, but to prevent new ones from reoccurring; your lifestyle choices will play a part in this step as well.
Pulmonary embolism management involves multiple steps. Oxygen therapy is generally where the doctor will begin. After that, he may prescribe medicines to thin the blood and help prevent new clots from forming. Common anticoagulants prescribed are warfarin, heparin, and enoxaparin. Smokers will need to cease smoking immediately, and if the patient is overweight, exercise and diet changes will be recommended. Drugs used to break up the clots, called thrombolytics or clot busters, may also be utilized (usually Activase, Retavase, or Eminase), but only for those who are very ill. Thrombolytics can cause excessive bleeding that is extremely dangerous to the patient.
Laser Lipo and Vein Center Cares About Our Patients
When you schedule an appointment with us, you are guaranteed the highest quality medical care available from compassionate and helpful caretakers. We don’t play games with your health; if we see a problem, we address the issue and try to resolve it as quickly and safely as possible—especially when that issue involves a pulmonary embolism. Schedule a consultation with us today to discover all we have to offer. If you think you are suffering from a pulmonary embolism, seek help IMMEDIATELY!