An embolism (thromboembolism) of the pulmonary artery is a sudden blockage of the trunk or branches of an artery that provides light blood to the embolus (emboli and emboli in Greek, wedge, plug). An embolus is a circulatory formation in the blood, most often a blood clot (thrombus) that is not found under normal conditions. This can cause a blockage of a blood vessel. This is a serious condition with high mortality.
Signs and symptoms
The light artery can develop rapidly, quickly leading to the development of acute heart failure. Basically, pulmonary embolism is manifested by tachycardia, chest pain, shortness of breath, hemoptysis, fever, wheezing in the chest, cyanosis, collapse. However, depending on the prevalence and combination of these symptoms:
- pulmonary and pleural syndrome characterized by shortness of breath, chest pain, dry or sputum;
- cardiac syndrome, in which chest pains, chest discomfort, tachycardia, a drop in blood pressure, possible collapse, and even syncope are disturbed;
- cerebral syndrome characterized by loss of consciousness, convulsions, hemiplegia (paralysis of the arms and legs on one side of the body).
Most often the embolus is a blood clot. However, this may be:
- Bone marrow;
- foreign bodies;
- gases, especially air;
- amniotic fluid in pregnant women;
- a fragment of an overgrown tumor;
- some microorganisms and parasites.
A blood clot usually forms in the inferior vena cava. Occasionally it forms in the right chambers of the heart or veins of the hands. This is facilitated by surgery, trauma, heart failure, bed and other conditions. A thrombus embolism is called pulmonary thromboembolism (PE).
Risk factors for pulmonary embolism:
- infective endocarditis;
- atrial fibrillation;
- coronary heart disease;
- excess weight;
- hypertonic disease;
- old age;
- elevated blood cholesterol;
- Crohn’s disease;
- some hereditary diseases;
- use of oral contraceptives;
- recent transactions.
A blood clot can also form in healthy people – truckers, who often have long flights.
Bloody brain in the bloodstream can get traumatized. In addition, fat can get into the blood vessels, for example, with the intramuscular injection of oil solutions of drugs.
Foreign bodies in the blood get in injuries and gunshot wounds.
Gases can get into the bloodstream during open heart surgery, in the early stages – large venous and chest cells, as well as with decompression sickness.
In women, pulmonary embolism occurs more often than in men. And there are two “peaks” – after 50 years and after 60. This is due to the fact that approximately at this age physiological changes are observed in the circulatory system.
The probability of death in case of a pulmonary embolus depends on the size of the emboli, on the number and number of occluded vessels, and on the general condition of the patient. Depending on the volume of the cut off channel, the arteries emit a small (25% of the channel), submassive (50% of the channel), massive (more than 50% of the channel) and acute fatal (more than 75% of the channel) embolism. Embolism of the main trunk of the pulmonary artery leads to the death of the patient within 1-2 hours.
We need to call an ambulance.
It is rather difficult to diagnose a pulmonary embolism, since its symptoms are observed. These are usually general and biochemical blood tests, ultrasound examination of the chest area, angiography, computed and magnetic resonance imaging, and electrocardiography.
Treatment of embolism involves two tasks:
- saving the patient’s life;
- restoration of the bloodstream.
A patient with suspected pulmonary embolism is hospitalized in the intensive care unit. It must remove the cardiovascular system and lungs. If necessary, use oxygen therapy for this. If necessary, prescribe analgesics.
In addition, anticoagulants are administered to the patient. I have already given the remote. Treatment of these funds can last from 2 to 6 months.
In some cases, its removal is required.
To prevent a pulmonary embolism, you need to lead a healthy lifestyle, eat right, monitor your weight, protect yourself from injuries and promptly treat infectious diseases.
In about half of those who have had a pulmonary embolism, it develops again. These relapses are often life threatening. Therefore it is necessary to warn them.
People who are prone to thrombosis are recommended compression stockings, which accelerate blood circulation in the legs, thereby preventing the formation of a blood clot. In addition, such people are shown to use anticoagulants.
It is necessary to avoid a long sitting position, you need to get up and stretch your legs at least once an hour.
During long trips you need to drink as much water as possible, to give up alcohol and coffee.