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Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism is a blocked artery in your lung. It’s usually caused by blood clots that travel from the leg to the lungs and can be life-threatening.

Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism

About half of people with a pulmonary embolism don’t have symptoms, but people who do may notice:

  • Chest pain
  • Cough that produces blood
  • Leg swelling or pain
  • Shortness of breath

Chronic Thromboembolic Disease

Left untreated, pulmonary embolism can lead to permanent lung damage and a serious, but rare, condition called chronic thromboembolic disease (CTED). CTED occurs when a blood clot is not reabsorbed by your body, which can damage the blood vessels in your lungs. This makes it difficult for blood to flow normally and increases strain on the right side of your heart.

Fewer than 4% of people with pulmonary embolism develop CTED, according to the American College of Cardiology. However, patients who do require surgery. MultiCare pulmonologists are skilled at procedures needed to treat this rare disease.

Treating Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism is diagnosed with imaging and blood tests. Treatments include:

  • Medications that keep blood clots from getting bigger and prevent new ones from forming (blood thinners)
  • Medications that dissolve blood clots (thrombolytic medication)
  • Surgery to remove blood clots from your lungs
  • Surgery to implant a filter that traps large clots and keeps them from getting to the lungs

Our experienced pulmonologists will evaluate your current health and condition to find the best treatment option for you.

Contact Us for More Information

MultiCare pulmonary and critical care specialists can provide you with diagnostic and therapeutic options to manage your respiratory health. Find a pulmonologist or contact the MultiCare Pulmonary Specialists clinic near you to learn more.