When the blood clots in the lung, it is called pulmonary embolism. The clot prevents the blood to travel to a particular part of the lung hence the result is infraction or death of tissue.
Before we understand how pulmonary embolism is being treated, it is also necessary to know the causes of the illness. There are lot of factors that can result to a clot that travels to the lung. Among these is if the person suffered from stroke or any illness that forced bed confinement or if the person seated for so long like in travelling. Immobilization causes clot formation in arms or in legs. Injury especially at the lower limbs, obesity, heart disease and burns can also be the causes of clotting.
When a person who is experiencing pulmonary embolism already manifested chest pain, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, anxiety, dry cough with blood, sweating and passing out, immediate medical intervention is necessary to primarily augment oxygen in the blood. PE is considered an emergency case. Immediate administration of pulmonary embolism treatment to the patient is necessary to prevent further complications that may cause death. Here are some pulmonary embolism treatment are usually done in the hospitals.
- The patient should be provided of necessary oxygen through mask or tubing.
- Ventilator treatment should be given. The breathing machine will do the breathing for the patient.
- Administer anticoagulant to stop further clotting. Heparin works rapidly and this can be given intravenously. The patient can also have oral low molecular weight heparin. Anticoagulant is usually taken for a minimum of six months.
- Blood-thinning medication warfarin can also be administered intravenously, through injection or orally. It is usually given immediately upon diagnosis but it takes a week to take effect.
- Administer thrombolytics therapy or clot dissolvers. This is usually done for life threatening situations only because of the bleeding it can cause.
- Clot can also be removed surgically or via catheter.
- Doctors can also position a vein filter to block clots from reaching the lung. This is usually given to those who cannot take anticoagulant drugs.
- Blood pressure elevators like dopamine are given for seriously ill with low blood pressure patients. It elevates the blood pressure into a satisfactory range.
The best pulmonary embolism treatment is prevention. Minimizing the risk of deep vein thrombosis is important in preventing a possible fatal illness. There are also precautionary measures you can take yourself to avoid this. For example, when travelling, it is suggested to stop, get up and walk every couple of hours and do some deep knee bending. When at the airplane, you can get up and walk around every once in a while. Do some sitting exercises like flexing or rotating of ankle and you should also avoid sitting with crossed legs for a long length of time. Compression stockings are typically used after general surgery to avert blood clotting and future deep vein thrombus formation especially if the patient has previous clotting history. The stockings gradually squeeze your legs thus facilitating proper blood movement. Drinking of plenty of water is also encouraged as dehydration can contribute to the formation of blood clot.
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