Blood clot in lung treatment

When a blood clot gets caught in one of the arteries that go from the heart to the lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE). The clot blocks the normal flow of blood.

This blockage can result in serious issues such as lung damage and low blood oxygen levels. Some organs in the body can also be harmed by a lack of oxygen. A pulmonary embolism can be fatal if the clot is large or the artery is clogged with several smaller clots.

Pulmonary embolisms normally originate in a deep vein in the legs and move to the lungs. Deep vein thrombosis is the medical term for this condition (DVT). These clots form when blood cannot circulate freely through your legs for an extended period of time, such as during a long flight or drive. It’s even possible if you’re on bed rest due to surgery or sickness.

What causes a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in lung?

A number of factors can cause blood clots to form. Deep vein thrombosis, a condition in which blood clots develop in veins deep inside the body, is the most common cause of pulmonary embolisms. Blood clots that cause pulmonary embolisms usually start in the legs or pelvis.

Blood clots in the body’s deep veins can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Injury or damage: Blood vessels may be damaged by injuries such as bone fractures or muscle tears, resulting in clots.
  • Inactivity: Gravity causes blood to stagnate in the lowest regions of the body while you are inactive for long periods of time, which can lead to a blood clot. This can happen if you’re sitting for a long time or if you’re recovering from an illness in bed.
  • Medical conditions: Medical conditions can cause blood to clot too quickly, leading to pulmonary embolism. Blood clots may be caused by medical treatments such as surgery or chemotherapy for cancer.

What are the danger signs and symptoms of a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in lung?

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are caused by a number of factors, including:

    • cancer
    • a family history of embolisms
    • fractures of the leg or hip
    • hypercoagulable states or genetic blood clotting disorders, including Factor V Leiden, prothrombin gene mutation, and elevated levels of homocysteine
    • a history of heart attack or stroke

  • major surgery
  • obesity
  • a sedentary lifestyle
  • age over 60 years
  • taking estrogen or testosterone

How do you know if you have a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in lung?

The size of the clot and where it lodges in the lung determine the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism.

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Shortness of breath is the most common symptom of a pulmonary embolism. This could happen gradually or suddenly.

Other symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • rapid breathing
  • rapid heartbeat
  • restlessness
  • spitting up blood
  • weak pulse

If you have one or more of these symptoms, especially shortness of breath, seek medical help right away.

How is a pulmonary embolism diagnosed or blood clot in lung?

A pulmonary embolism can be difficult to detect in some circumstances. This is particularly true if you have a lung or heart disease, such as emphysema or high blood pressure, that needs to be treated.

When you go to the doctor to discuss your symptoms, they will inquire about your general health and any pre-existing conditions you might have.

To figure out what’s causing the symptoms, your doctor will probably run one or more of the following tests:

  • X-ray of the chest: This common, noninvasive examination allows doctors to examine the heart and lungs in detail, as well as any issues with the bones around your lungs.
  • Electrocardiography (ECG) is a test that tests the electrical activity of the heart.
  • MRI: A magnetic field and radio waves are used in this scan.
  • CT scan: The doctor will be able to see cross-sectional pictures of the lungs with this scan. A V/Q scan is a type of scan that can be ordered.
  • Pulmonary angiography: This procedure entails making a tiny incision in your chest so that your doctor can insert advanced instruments into your veins.
  • Duplex venous ultrasound: This test uses radio waves to simulate the flow of blood in your legs and search for blood clots.
  • Venography: Venography is a form of X-ray that examines the veins in your legs.
  • D-dimer test: A type of blood test.

What is the treatment for a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in lung?

The size and position of the blood clot determine your condition for a pulmonary embolism. Your doctor can prescribe medication as a treatment if the problem is minor and detected early. Small clots may be broken up with certain medications.

The following are some of the medications that your doctor can prescribe:

  • Anticoagulants: Heparin and warfarin, also known as blood thinners, are anticoagulants that prevent new clots from forming in your blood. In an emergency, they can be able to save your life.
  • Clot dissolvers (thrombolytics):Clot dissolvers (thrombolytics) are medications that help a clot dissolve faster. Since side effects may include serious bleeding complications, they’re usually only used in emergency situations.

Problematic clots, particularly those that limit blood flow to the lungs or heart, may require surgery to be removed. In the event of a pulmonary embolism, your doctor can use the following surgical procedures:

  • Vein filter:Your doctor will make a small incision and place a small filter in your inferior vena cava with a thin wire. The key vein that runs from your legs to your heart is the vena cava.
  • Clot removal: Large clots are suctioned out of your artery using a thin tube called a catheter. Because of the complexity, it isn’t always the most appropriate treatment option.
  • Open surgery: Doctors only use open surgery in emergency cases, such as when a patient is in shock or when antibiotics aren’t breaking up the clot.

Follow-up treatment

You’ll be recommended to treat the root cause after receiving adequate care for a pulmonary embolism in the hospital. Deep vein thrombosis is the most common cause of this.

Anticoagulant drugs, such as heparin and warfarin, will most likely be used to prevent blood clots from forming again. It’s also possible that you’ll need to wear compression stockings (which are identical to very tight socks) or a brace.

Blood clot in lung treatment

After a pulmonary embolism, it’s also important to exercise your legs on a regular basis. Your doctor will give you detailed advice on how to avoid blood clots in the future.

Blood clot in lung treatment

Mayo Clinic