A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious condition that can be fatal. It occurs when a blood clot travels from another area of the body – known as deep vein thrombosis – and settles in the lung, blocking the oxygen supply and causing heart failure.
- Shortness of breath
- Sharp chest pain
- Bloody sputum (coughing up blood)
- Rapid pulse
Individuals who experience any of the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism should seek medical care immediately.
Pulmonary embolisms are typically treated with medications to break up the clot. But when a PE is life threatening, Holy Name Medical Center's Interventional Radiologists may guide a catheter to the clot to take it out or deliver medication that will dissolve it. Rarely, surgery is used to remove the clot.
- This procedure rapidly brakes up the clot, restoring blood flow.
- It has a low complication rate.
- Pain and swelling are reduced