What Causes Pulmonary Embolisms?
Pulmonary embolism is the term used to define blockage of an artery by a substance that has traveled through the bloodstream to the lungs. According to American thoracic society, it is estimated that in every 100,000 people – 71 and 117 who are between the ages of five and seven have been diagnosed with pulmonary embolism in USA. Though the condition is treatable, 2 percent of the population who suffer from the disease die within the first day and ten percent experience a recurrent pulmonary embolism. This is according to American Family Physician.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a condition where a clot forms in the deep veins, and it mostly appears in the legs. Symptoms may include swelling, redness of the affected region. Once the clot forms, it is transported through the bloodstream to the lungs, hence causing PE. Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath and blood phlegm after coughing.
Unlike DVT, multiple blood clots may appear in your body thus causing PE. Once the clots move to the lungs, the arteries get blocked, hence causing blood supply shortage and finally death of the arteries. This causes your lungs to collapse since they can’t supply oxygen to your body.
Another cause for alarm is injuries got from sports and other accidents. Though rare, injuries like muscle tears and fractures can cause blood to clot thus leading to vessel damage.
Certain medical conditions can cause your blood to clot easily, hence leading to PE. It is also noteworthy that specific treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery can also lead to PE because of the increased risk of having a blood clot.
Long periods of idleness or inactivity can cause the blood to clot. This is because gravity may cause your blood to stagnate in one area thus causing a blood clot and eventual vessel damage. These cases may include lengthy trips or having a bed rest from an illness.
Pulmonary embolism Risk factors
Other factors that may increase your chances of having pulmonary embolism are
According to Everyday Health, eight percent of the population in USA have a genetic disorder that causes the blood to clot. These disorders involve facto v Leiden and the gene mutation of the prothrombin. Also, in case your family has a history of heart attacks that means that you are also at risk of suffering from PE.
Many attributes obesity to change the chemical aspect of blood, hence increasing the chances of having a blood clot.
Some lifestyle choices can increase your chances of experiencing a blood clot. For instance, smoking has been attributed to irritate the blood cell, hence causing the blood vessels to thicken gradually. Eventually, smaller clots begin to block the blood vessels.
Though aging is an inevitable life process, family history can play a huge factor in experiencing PE. Individuals who are above 60 years and have a family history of blood clotting or in some instances have been taking hormonal treatments such as testosterone and estrogen; have been found to have a higher risk of suffering from PE.
Pulmonary Embolism Treatment will depend on the size of the blood clot and where it is located. In case the clot has been noticed early, your doctor may recommend specific drugs to cure it. In complex cases, surgery may be advised to remove problematic blood clots. These surgeries may include vein filter, open surgery, and clot removal. Some experts also suggested yoga as one of the surest ways to reduce risks on pulmonary embolism.