We can define pulmonary embolism as a blockage in either one or more arteries leading to or in the lungs caused due to embolus, or a clot. In almost each case, clot originates in deep vein inside the pelvis, arms, or legs, breaks loose, and then travels to lungs. Depending on the size, blood clot obstructs either a small or large pulmonary artery and then blocks the blood flow through that vessel.
Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis Pulmonary Embolism
A lot of Pulmonary Embolism Risk Factors are there. People having more than a single risk factor simultaneously are at even bigger risk. Immobility (for example, following surgery or an injury) and blood clot disorders (called hypercoagulable or thrombophilia state) are main risk factors. Most common kind of genetic thrombophilia is the factor V Leiden that also increases the risks for pregnancy complication.
Other factors which increase the risks for DVT include:
- Cancer and its treatment
- Pregnancy and postpartum period
- Hormone therapy (for example birth control pills)
- Varicose veins
- Sitting for long period of time (e.g., on a plane, in the car)
DVT Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms and Signs
Symptoms of DVT differ, depending on the severity and location of blood clot. In almost 50% of the patients who have this condition, DVT tends to be asymptomatic (i.e., doesn’t cause symptoms). In a few cases, the patients aren’t aware that they’ve DVT until blood clot travels onto the lung and then causes pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of DVT include the following:
- Pain or tenderness
- Swelling (edema)
- Redness or discoloration
A few patients having DVT experience pain within the calf when their foot is flexed upwards (known as Homan’s sign). But, this sign can be also associated with some other conditions and isn’t present in all the patients with DVT.
Signs of pulmonary embolism consist of shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, and low fever (approximately 101°F). In a few cases, the patients who have pulmonary embolism do cough up blood (known as hemoptysis). The condition can also cause feelings of apprehension and restlessness, and irregular heart rate (known as arrhythmia).
What is the Pulmonary Edema?
In general, Edema means swelling. This occurs typically when fluid from in blood vessels seep outside the blood vessels into the surrounding tissue, causing swelling. It can happen either due to too much of pressure in blood vessel or not sufficient proteins in bloodstream to hold up to the fluid inside the plasma (the element of the blood which does not contain the blood cell).
Pulmonary edema causes when alveoli gets filled up with surplus fluid seeped out from the blood vessels inside the lung rather than air. It can cause trouble with exchange of gases (carbon dioxide and oxygen), resulting in breathing trouble and poor blood oxygenation. At times, this is referred to as the “water in lungs” whenever describing the conditions to the patients.
Pulmonary edema may be caused by lots of different factors. This can be related with heart failure, known as cardiogenic pulmonary edema, and related to the other causes, called as the non-cardiogenic’s pulmonary edema.