A Pulmonary embolism Vessels to the lungs are blocked by a blood clot so that the lungs can no longer be supplied with sufficient blood. A pulmonary embolism is often triggered by a thrombosis. A pulmonary embolism can have life-threatening consequences and should therefore be treated and cared for as quickly as possible.
A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood vessel becomes blocked (blood clot) in the lungs. Click to enlarge.
A Pulmonary embolism is a very serious condition that people of all ages can get. There are various causes that can lead to these symptoms. More precisely, a pulmonary embolism means that blood clots form in one or more veins, which are then transported onwards and reach the heart, among other things.
There they may block some blood vessels, which can then lead to a pulmonary embolism. These blood clots can form in several parts of the body, especially the joints of the extremities, as is very common in the legs. So one can define this condition in such a way that blood clots block the blood circulation and thus cannot lead the important oxygen to the lungs.
The most common cause of one Pulmonary embolism is sitting or lying down without being able to move, so that veins in the joints are pinched off and thus the trigger for an embolism is given. Most often, a blood clot, also called a thrombus, develops in the leg or pelvic veins. One example is sitting on an airplane for long periods of time where you cannot straighten your legs and a pulmonary embolism can develop.
If one or both legs start to hurt or even get fat, you have to see a doctor at the latest. Inexperienced divers who emerge too quickly from great depths can also develop a pulmonary embolism. The cause here is that gas bubbles form in the veins or arteries, which can then also block the blood supply to the heart and thus the lungs cannot be supplied. During a long hospital stay, pulmonary embolism is prevented by injecting blood-thinning agents.
Before a pulmonary embolism occurs, there are usually a number of warning signs such as coughing or wheezing. These symptoms gradually increase in intensity and eventually lead to pulmonary embolism. This usually manifests itself in sudden shortness of breath and chest pain. The pain can radiate into the shoulder or abdominal region.
Those affected feel fear and nervousness, often accompanied by a racing heart, coughing and coughing up blood. In severe cases, fainting or even heart failure may occur. The pulmonary embolism usually occurs in stronger attacks. At first, those affected feel only imperceptible discomfort, which increases in intensity and duration with each blood clot.
Palpitations and dry coughs are typical, but also fever, whereby the symptoms often go away on their own. Eventually, a severe pulmonary embolism develops, which can cause life-threatening complications. In addition to the typical chest pain, which mainly occurs with intensive breathing movements, it can lead to shortness of breath and noises when breathing. In extreme cases, a pulmonary infarction occurs, which manifests itself as coughing up blood, fever and shortness of breath. Right heart failure can lead to jammed neck veins and water retention in the legs.
The course of the disease Pulmonary embolism is painful and must be treated immediately. There are also people who are more prone to thrombosis than others. Those affected are so-called risk patients. Anyone who has already had fractures in their hips or legs and even has to wear a prosthesis is just as prone to pulmonary embolism as patients with major operations.
Age also plays a role or serious illnesses such as stroke or malignant tumors. The actual pulmonary embolism, however, only occurs after a blood clot has been detached and made its way through the veins and veins towards the heart. This happens when you get up after resting for a long time and immediately start performing strenuous movements.
Pulmonary embolism can cause a variety of complications. In addition, some long-term effects are possible. Pulmonary infarction is one of the most common effects. This shows up in around 25 percent of all pulmonary embolisms and occurs 12 to 25 hours after the embolism. Due to the lack of blood flow in the lung tissue, which is supplied by the blocked pulmonary artery, irreparable loss of the tissue occurs. This is often noticeable through a bloody cough.
One of the sequelae of pulmonary embolism that often occurs is right heart failure (right heart failure). Closure of larger pulmonary vessels causes an increase in pulmonary circulation resistance. The reason for this is that too many vessels are subject to the blockage. The right ventricle therefore has to perform better than usual. If this leads to excessive demands on them, there is a risk of malfunction or even total failure of the right half of the heart. Life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias are also possible due to the overload.
It is not uncommon for a pulmonary embolism to cause pneumonia. Because the parts of the lungs that are poorly supplied with blood also have poorer ventilation, harmful germs can spread more easily in the lung region and cause inflammation. Sometimes there is also an inflammation of the lungs, what doctors call pleurisy.
Another complication of pulmonary embolism can be pulmonary hypertension. If pulmonary embolism occurs repeatedly, this results in permanent changes in the pulmonary vessels. To counteract the higher resistance, the heart increases its pumping capacity. As a result, high blood pressure occurs in the lungs, which in turn is detrimental to the heart.
If you experience symptoms such as shortness of breath or shortage of air, a visit to a doctor is recommended. The insufficient supply of oxygen to the organism can lead to serious complications or a life-threatening situation. If you have chest pain, a feeling of pressure in the chest or difficulty breathing, a doctor is needed.
Complaints such as shoulder pain, noises while breathing, coughing or fever should be examined and treated. If there is a bloody sputum or coughing up blood, it is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible. Changes in heart rhythm, increased breathing rate and a racing heart are signs of an irregularity.
Consult a doctor to determine the cause of the symptoms. If the daily tasks can no longer be performed as usual, if the general performance drops or if sleep disorders set in, the person concerned needs medical help. Abdominal pain or digestive disorders should be clarified by a doctor if the discrepancies persist for several days.
If there are disorders of the blood circulation, discoloration of the skin or an internal weakness, a doctor is required. A doctor's visit is also necessary if emotional complaints arise. Further examinations should be initiated in the event of fear, panic, abnormal behavior, or mood swings.
When a Pulmonary embolism treatment must be started immediately. Since this disease is always life-threatening, treatment in the hospital takes place with immediate oxygen supply and the infusion of blood-thinning agents, which are supposed to prevent further blood clotting.
The coagulation hammers also ensure that no more blood clots can form and make the disease even worse. These medications have to be taken for several months, possibly in tablet form or as injections, in order to avoid a new pulmonary embolism.
The anti-thrombosis stockings, which the patient should already wear in bed, are also suitable as an additional treatment measure. The stockings are also worn preventively by high-risk patients. Movement of the patient is just as important, i.e. he should get back on his feet quickly and use movements to stabilize the blood circulation.
A general forecast cannot be made. It must take into account the patient's state of health and the extent of the disease. Doctors have classified several severity lines of pulmonary embolism. Mild cases are rarely fatal, whereas severe cases are fatal in every second case. Basically, it can be said that old age and poor physique reduce the likelihood of survival. Immediate consultation with a doctor, on the other hand, increases the likelihood of recovery. The first time after the onset of the symptoms is the most dangerous. 90 percent of all patients who do not survive an illness die within the first two hours.
A pulmonary embolism is life-threatening. Waiting and hoping for improvement are not options. After an illness has been overcome, there is a risk of a new embolism. This can be countered by taking anticoagulants. Permanent high blood pressure in the lungs rarely occurs. Patients increase their chances of a symptom-free life by breaking bad habits. For example, reducing obesity and avoiding nicotine has been shown to help prevent pulmonary embolism from recurring.
A pulmonary embolism can be prevented by giving up smoking and doing plenty of physical activity or sports. A healthy diet also helps. Avoid being overweight. Drink enough.
Pulmonary embolism is best cured with a healthy lifestyle. This means maintaining a stress-free everyday life, getting enough exercise in the fresh air and enough sleep. Rest and rest are important in order to recover from the exertion. In doing so, constructive conversations with loved ones from the close environment can help to reduce the mental burden and promote a positive attitude towards life. Regular check-ups with the attending physician ensure that you keep an eye on the recovery process and recognize any complications in good time.
In the event of a pulmonary embolism, the patient should call the emergency doctor immediately. If he is unable to do so himself for health reasons, observers are obliged to contact an emergency doctor. In addition, it is necessary to take first aid measures until the doctor arrives. Adequate oxygen supply is also important for the patient.
People at risk for thrombosis should take various precautionary measures. Rigid postures or long periods of sitting and standing should be avoided. Also avoid positions where limbs or blood vessels could become trapped. The body needs sufficient and regular exercise to prevent blood congestion. Activities that stimulate the circulation have a positive influence on the prevention of pulmonary embolism. In addition, stays in rooms with high levels of pollutants without an appropriate face mask are not permitted. The activity of the lungs can be influenced or tissue damage can result.
In the case of painful legs that cannot be traced back to brief overload, the person affected should make changes. Sports activities or the wearing of healthy shoes are helpful. Shoes with high heels or the wrong size cause cramps that can be harmful to the blood circulation and blood vessels.