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All about pulmonary embolism causes of pulmonary embolism risk factors for pulmonary embolism symptoms of pulmonary embolism diagnosis of pulmonary embolism treatment for pulmonary embolism prevention of pulmonary embolism

What's the treatment for pulmonary embolism?

Treatment of pulmonary embolism focuses on preventing future pulmonary embolism by using anticoagulant medications. Anticoagulants prevent existing blood clots from growing larger and help prevent new ones from developing.

Pulmonary embolism is a serious condition that can cause sudden death. The patient is hospitalized immediately and given drugs, such as heparin and warfarin, to dissolve clots and prevent new ones from forming. Oxygen is given to bring the levels of oxygen in the blood to normal levels. Some patients can’t take drugs that prevent clots. These patients may need surgery to insert a device that filters blood returning to the heart and lungs until the pulmonary embolism dissolves. In very severe cases, doctors may need to perform surgery to remove the embolism.

Thrombolytic therapy is another approach for severe pulmonary embolism. Streptokinase, urokinase, and tissue plasminogen activator are thrombolytic drugs that are used to break up the clots. Thromobolytics can’t be given to people who are pregnant, have had a recent stroke, have a bleeding disorder, or had surgery within the last 10 days before the pulmonary embolism occurred. Most people who have had successful treatment for pulmonary embolism need to continue taking blood thinning medication after leaving the hospital.

Some people may also benefit from having a vena cava filter inserted into the large central vein of the body. This filter can help prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. It is used when anticoagulants are not an option, clots form despite anticoagulant use, or there is an increased risk of death or a severely restricted lifestyle if another pulmonary embolism occurs.


More information on pulmonary embolism

What is pulmonary embolism? - Pulmonary embolism is an obstruction of a blood vessel in the lungs, usually due to a blood clot, which blocks a coronary artery.
What causes pulmonary embolism? - The most common cause of pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein in your leg, breaks loose, travels to the lungs.
What're the risk factors for pulmonary embolism? - Risk factors for pulmonary embolism include: prolonged bed rest, surgery, childbirth, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure.
What are the symptoms of pulmonary embolism? - The signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism can vary greatly, depending on how much of the lung is involved.
How is pulmonary embolism diagnosed? - Diagnosis of pulmonary embolism depends upon an accurate and thorough medical history and ruling out other conditions.
What's the treatment for pulmonary embolism? - Treatment of pulmonary embolism focuses on preventing future pulmonary embolism by using anticoagulant medications.
How to prevent pulmonary embolism? - Pulmonary embolism risk can be reduced in certain patients through judicious use of antithrombotic drugs.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005