Pulmonary Embolism

Top five low-value actions ID'd in emergency medicine

(HealthDay)—The top five tests, treatments, and/or disposition decisions that are of little value in emergency medicine have been identified, according to research published online Feb. 17 in JAMA: Internal Me ...

Feb 19, 2014
popularity 4.7 / 5 (3) | comments 0

Dr. David Magnus on understanding brain death

When is a person considered dead? Two recent cases have thrust the issue of "brain death" back into the national conversation. In Texas, the brain-dead Marlise Muñoz was connected to machines that kept her other vital organs ...

Feb 06, 2014
popularity 3.3 / 5 (4) | comments 0

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has travelled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism). Usually this is due to embolism of a thrombus (blood clot) from the deep veins in the legs, a process termed venous thromboembolism. A small proportion is due to the embolization of air, fat, talc in drugs of intravenous drug abusers or amniotic fluid. The obstruction of the blood flow through the lungs and the resultant pressure on the right ventricle of the heart leads to the symptoms and signs of PE. The risk of PE is increased in various situations, such as cancer or prolonged bed rest.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include difficulty breathing, chest pain on inspiration, and palpitations. Clinical signs include low blood oxygen saturation and cyanosis, rapid breathing, and a rapid heart rate. Severe cases of PE can lead to collapse, abnormally low blood pressure, and sudden death.

Diagnosis is based on these clinical findings in combination with laboratory tests (such as the D-dimer test) and imaging studies, usually CT pulmonary angiography. Treatment is typically with anticoagulant medication, including heparin and warfarin. Severe cases may require thrombolysis with drugs such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or may require surgical intervention via pulmonary thrombectomy.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Popular antioxidant likely ineffective, study finds

The popular dietary supplement ubiquinone, also known as Coenzyme Q10, is widely believed to function as an antioxidant, protecting cells against damage from free radicals. But a new study by scientists at McGill University ...

Research suggests brain's melatonin may trigger sleep

If you walk into your local drug store and ask for a supplement to help you sleep, you might be directed to a bottle labeled "melatonin." The hormone supplement's use as a sleep aid is supported by anecdotal ...