Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Symptoms and Warning Signs

Overview

Pulmonary embolism occurs as a result of a clot in the pulmonary artery, which obstructs blood flow to the lungs. Blood must flow through the lungs so as to get re-oxygenated to supply the body’s tissues. So, when this blood clot forms, it makes it difficult for this to occur, leading to decreased oxygen levels in the blood. This can be life-threatening to a large degree. A blood clot in pulmonary embolism usually arises from thrombosis in deep veins in the body, usually leg or pelvic veins.

When pulmonary embolism occurs, it may lead to several symptoms rapidly and perhaps death. About 1 in 3 persons who develop this disease die due to delayed detection and treatment. Clearly, identifying the signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism is helpful in averting its adverse effects in time. The symptoms exhibited may vary in nature and degree, depending on the size of the clot. If not attended immediately, pulmonary embolism may lead to total or partial damage of the lungs, or death at worst.