When a person suddenly experiences pain in the arms, neck and hands and there is shortness of breath then there is a chance that he/she is suffering from pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is a condition when there is a blood clot lodged in the lungs which prevents the flow of oxygen and blood to other parts of the body. Damage may be caused to the lungs and it may also spread to other parts of the body.
Deep vein thrombosis is one of the main cause of pulmonary embolism. Clots are formed in the pelvis or legs and they travel up to the lungs causing pulmonary embolism. Clots are formed in the pelvis or legs due to certain type of fractures as well.
Anyone with symptoms of pulmonary embolism requires immediate medical intervention. Doctors will perform many tests to identify the clot in the lungs. Tests include pulmonary angiography, CT scan, MRI scan and chest x-ray. A person may be prescribed anticoagulants and clot dissolvers. Some clots are complicated and may even require surgery.
Post-surgical care of pulmonary embolism will include treatment of deep vein thrombosis. Patients are given compression stockings and taught exercises to prevent the clots from forming again.
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