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Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

What is a pulmonary embolism (PE)?

Pulmonary embolism (PE) - a sudden stop blood flow in the branch pulmonary arteries due to blockage of its blood clot (thrombus) that entails cessation of blood flow in that branch supplies the area of lung tissue. It should be clarified that the above is a fragment of another blood clot blood clot formed and located outside the pulmonary artery. A condition under which the distribution of blood clots in vessels of the body, called thromboembolism.

PE - one of the most common and serious complications of many diseases post-operative and post-natal periods, adversely affecting their course and outcome. Sudden death in one third of cases due to pulmonary embolism. Kills about 20% of patients with pulmonary embolism, and more than half of them in the first 2 hours after the onset of embolism.

The causes leading to thromboembolism, and what happens?

To allow its existence, the human body needs oxygen, and oxygen intake should be carried out continuously. This lung gas exchange occurs constantly. On the branches of the pulmonary artery in the lung tissue of the finest education, called alveoli, the waste is delivered by the body venous blood. Here the blood is released from the carbon dioxide that is removed from the body during exhalation, and oxygenated air entering the lungs during inhalation. As a result, gas exchange in the arterial blood becomes saturated with oxygen and delivered to all organs and tissues of the body.

This may be accompanied by myocardial infarction, atelectasis (lung spadenie of tissue) in the lung.

The most common cause of pulmonary embolism are blood clots in the deep veins encountered and often in the deep veins of the lower limbs.

For the formation of a blood clot, you must have three conditions

- Damage to the vessel wall;
- Slowing of blood flow at this point;
- Increase blood clotting.

The wall of the vein can be damaged in inflammatory diseases, intravenous injections, trauma.

Conditions for the slowing of blood flow are due to heart failure, prolonged forced position: bed rest, especially in patients with lung disease, myocardial infarction, surgery for a hip fracture. And most often in patients with spinal cord injuries. Occasionally pulmonary embolism can occur in healthy people who are long in the forced position. For example, when flying on an airplane.

Causes increased blood clotting are some inherited disorders in the coagulation of blood, taking birth control, AIDS.

Also risk factors DVT than the above are: elderly age, surgery, malignancy, varicose veins of the legs, pregnancy and childbirth, trauma, obesity and some diseases (Crohn's disease, erythremia, nephrotic syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria).

The symptoms of pulmonary embolism

The manifestations of pulmonary embolism depend on the massiveness of the process, the cardiovascular system and lungs.

Depending on the amount of pulmonary vascular lesions of pulmonary embolism can be:

50% more massive pulmonary vessels;
Submassive from 30 to 50% of the vessels of the lungs;
Nonmassive least 30% of the pulmonary vessels.

The most common manifestation of pulmonary embolism, shortness of breath and rapid breathing. Shortness of breath occurs suddenly. The patient feels better when lying down. Chest pain has a different character. The patient may be severe pain or discomfort in the chest. Occasionally there is hemoptysis. Cyanosis may appear pale or bluish color of the nose, lips, ears up to cast shade.

There may also be palpitations, cough, cold sweat, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, short-term or long-term loss of consciousness, convulsions of the limbs.

What can you do?

If your family has relatives with risk factors need to be observed from your physician for possible occurrence of blood clots.

If you encounter a situation, accompanied by these symptoms should immediately seek medical attention or call an ambulance, or if you're in the hospital, the doctor.

Even the timely detection of a massive pulmonary embolism does not always ensure its effective therapy. To avoid death to seek help as soon as possible.

What can a doctor do?

Dr. conduct the necessary examination, investigations including ECG, chest X-ray, ventilation-perfusion lung scintigraphy (research vessels of the lungs with contrast media), and on that basis determine the lesion volume. Depending on the amount of damage prescribe treatment. In any case, the confirmation of the diagnosis the patient must be supervised by a doctor in the hospital.