Welcome to Episode 108

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Tip of The Week- Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism is a condition where a blood clot that formed in some other part of the body has traveled to the lungs by way of circulation. It is usually the sequelae of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Not all cases of PE may exhibit symptoms, but if they do, it includes chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety, coughing (dry but may be associated with blood), sweating, and loss of consciousness. PE may  be suspected if any of these symptoms occur in someone who has or recently had a swollen or painful arm or leg or who has any of the risk factors.

Upon confirmation of the presence of PE through diagnostic tests, the first line medication would be anticoagulants (usually heparin) to dissolve the blood clot. Thrombolytics are may also be given to patients with massive PE.

Patients that are discharged are still closely monitored for recurrence of clot formation. Part of the follow up care includes testing of the INR which shows the level of blood thinning that the medication is achieving. Once the INR is stabilized, less frequent checks will occur. To prevent recurrence of PE, patient teaching gives emphasis on the pathophysiology of DVT and PE including its risk factors and make sure that the patient understands to avoid these risk factors.

Emedicine Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism News, Research and Video

Medline Plus Pulmonary Embolism


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