Although not many people are familiar with the term 'pulmonary embolism,' it occurs in more than two hundred thousand Americans each year. Prompt treatment is crucial for preventing the condition from becoming deadly. The condition tends to occur in people over the age of seventy years old. Taking precautions early in life by exercising and eating healthy is the best way to prevent a pulmonary embolism from occurring. Here is a short guide with all the necessary information about a pulmonary embolism.
A pulmonary embolism is one of the most common cardiovascular problems. It affects approximately one in every one thousand people in the United States alone. Derived from the Greek word émbolos, the term 'embolism' means 'plug' or 'stopper.' A pulmonary embolism occurs when a major blood vessel or artery in the lung suddenly becomes blocked by a blot clot. These blood clots may develop in other areas of the body and travel to the lung. In most cases, the blood clots are small and not life threatening, but they may cause severe damage to the lung. Larger blood clots can be deadly and require immediate treatment before the clot prevents blood flow to lung tissues. An embolus is not the same as a thrombus, which stays in one place after it is formed.