Pulmonary embolism is sudden blockage of blood flow in an artery in the lung. The blockage (an embolus) can be caused by a blood clot, tumor, amniotic fluid, or fat in the artery.
Blood clots in the deep veins of the leg are the most common cause of pulmonary embolism. A clot may break loose from a deep vein in the leg and travel to a pulmonary artery in the lung, where it can block blood flow.
Pulmonary embolism can be a very serious condition that can result in death. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolus include:
Pulmonary embolism is treated in the hospital with monitoring, oxygen, and anticoagulants to prevent more blood clots.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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