Pulmonary Embolism

What is a PE (pulmonary embolism)?

(PE) pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot(s) travel from your deep vein system into the lung(s).  Untreated PE can be life threatening, so it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

What are the signs and symptoms of PE?

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort when coughing or deep breathing
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy or faint
  • Rapid pulse and breathing
  • Coughing up blood

What are risk factors for PE?

  • Current DVT
  • Damage to a vein from surgery or trauma
  • Inflammation due to infection or injury

When do I see a doctor?

If you develop any signs or symptoms of PE, seek emergency medical attention

What are my treatment options for PE?

Each treatment plan is based on the individual patient.  A medication regimen or thrombolysis (“clot buster”) may be prescribed. Thrombolysis is a procedure done in a cath lab by a cardiologist or vascular surgeon.  This procedure does require a short hospital stay, and most patients going home in 2-3 days.

How do I manage my DVT or PE?

Being diagnosed with a DVT or PE can seem overwhelming, but it can be managed.  Remember to elevate those legs, take regular walks, exercise and wear your compression stockings.  Take your prescribed medications and keep your follow up doctors appointments.  Try to maintain a healthy weight and stop smoking!  Always call if you have any questions or concerns.  WK VEIN SPECIALISTS can be reached at 318-212-VEIN.