Filed under: Respiratory Health
Pulmonary embolism is blockage in one or more arteries in your lungs. In most cases, pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to your lungs from another part of your body — most commonly, your legs. Pulmonary embolism is a complication of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is clotting in the veins farthest from the surface of the body.
Pulmonary embolism can occur in otherwise healthy people. Common signs and symptoms include sudden and unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain and a cough that may bring up blood-tinged sputum.
Pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening, but immediate treatment with anti-clotting medications can greatly reduce the risk of death. Taking measures to prevent blood clots in your legs also can help protect you against pulmonary embolism.
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