Pulmonary embolism is the medical term used for presence of blood clot in the lungs. In this condition, the artery within the lungs becomes obstructed with a blood clot. More often than not, more than one blood clot is present inside these arteries. Consequently, the blood supply to the lung tissue will become affected. There will be damage to the lung tissue and cause death later on. Furthermore, it has an unfavorable impact on the functioning of the lung. It also fails to maintain proper oxygen supply to different parts of the body. For this matter, symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty in breathing, cough, wheezing and many more will occur.
Mostly, the blood clot that is embedded within the artery of the lungs is formed in the deep veins of the leg and then travels through the bloodstream in order to reach the lungs. This is termed as deep vein thrombosis. This happens when for some reasons, circulation of blood to the legs is not proper. It occurs in individuals who are in prolonged bed rest. Other risk factors for both pulmonary embolism and deep vein thrombosis include serious injuries, heart diseases, excessive body weight, cancer, heart diseases and many more. Blood clots in lungs can be a common occurrence following surgery. During major surgeries such as joint replacement surgery and more, the tissue debris could penetrate into the bloodstream and result to formation of a clot. This frequently occurs in individuals who suffer from an inherited blood clotting disorder.
Diagnosis for blood clot in lungs can be done through a series of laboratory tests which include pulmonary angiogram, lung scan, ultrasound, chest X-ray and a lot more. The primary goal of treating blood clot in lungs will be to control the size of the existing blood clot and to prevent the formation of new blood clots. Anticoagulants or medications for blood thinning are extensively used in slowing down the process of blood clot formation. These medications are very effective in preventing any increase in the size of the blood clots. Also, it can prevent the breaking up of blood clots which may be dangerous. These medicines can be obtained in the form of a pill or injections. Heparin is a type of anticoagulant which is given through a needle or intravenous tube which functions quickly. On the other hand, warfarin is a medicine taken orally and begins to work after several days. The physician may administer both forms of medicine all together depending on the health condition of the person.
The human body is capable of dissolving the blood clots on its own. In a few uncommon cases in which the size of the blood clot in lungs is huge and patients present with some serious symptoms, doctors would usually prescribe medicines in order to dissolve the clots. Thrombolytics are the medications which are used for this condition. Since these drugs can result to severe bleeding, doctors may give them only in emergency cases.