CCRN Pulmonary Embolism

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism Overview (2020)

Pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or, rarely, other parts of the body (deep vein thrombosis).

Because the clots block blood flow to the lungs, pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening. However, prompt treatment greatly reduces the risk of death. Taking measures to prevent blood clots in your legs will help protect you against pulmonary embolism.

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism – Signs and Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Lightheadedness 

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism – Causes

Pulmonary embolism occurs when a clump of material, most often a blood clot, gets wedged into an artery in your lungs. These blood clots most commonly come from the deep veins of your legs. This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

In most cases, multiple clots are involved but not necessarily all at once. The portions of lung served by each blocked artery are robbed of blood and may die. This is known as pulmonary infarction. This makes it more difficult for your lungs to provide oxygen to the rest of your body.

Occasionally, blockages in the blood vessels are caused by substances other than blood clots, such as:

  • Fat from the marrow of a broken long bone
  • Collagen or other tissue
  • Part of a tumor
  • Air bubbles
  • DVT

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism – Risk Factors

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Surgery
  • Bedrest
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism – Complications

  • Pulmonary hypertension

CCRN Pulmonary Embolism – Treatment

  • Anticoagulants
  • Thrombolytics
  • Clot removal
  • Vein filter

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