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Ignoring Chest Pain or Breathlessness could prove fatal

by Marshaneil Soumi D’ Rozario | 25th Feb, 2019

ignoring chest pain or breathlessness could prove fatal
 Image used for representational purpose only

Pulmonary embolism is a condition where blood clots obstruct the lung arteries. The obstruction of blood circulation can be fatal and damage the lungs and all the vital organs. Pulmonary embolism, fortunately, is not difficult to diagnose if suspected in appropriate patients. If it remains undiagnosed and untreated, it could result in death. The condition is, in fact, twice more fatal than heart attacks, but early recognition and immediate emergency treatment and surgery greatly increase chances of survival. Dr.Swaroop G. Bharadi, Consultant Cardiologist and Director Cathlab, CARE Hospitals, shares his valuable knowledge on Pulmonary Embolism.

 

 Who are at risk?

 

Patients who have recently undergone surgery and are not prescribed the right medication for anticoagulation are susceptible to Pulmonary Embolism. Those who are immobile or have genetic blood clotting disorders are also prone to it. Other risk factors include oral contraceptives, long haul air travel, underlying malignancies, and smoking.

 

What are its symptoms?

 

The symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism depend on the size of the clot and where it lodges in the lungs. The most commonly seen symptoms are dyspnoea (shortness of breath), and chest pain similar to that felt during a heart attack. Other symptoms observed are palpitations and irregular haemodynamics. These indications must not be ignored, and medical attention must be sought immediately.

 

3. How is Pulmonary Embolism diagnosed?

 

Pulmonary Embolism is required in case of a high index of suspicion on diagnosing for appropriate patients, especially if the patients have an underlying lung or heart condition. The consulting doctors make a diagnosis by taking into account predisposing health issues in the body, in addition to ECG, ECHO, and blood tests. ACT Pulmonary Angio is required in select groups of patients, but is not recommended in case of haemodynamically unstable patients.

 

4. What is the treatment?

 

If the problem is minor and detected early the doctor may recommend medication as treatment. Certain anticoagulants (blood thinners) can help in breaking up the small clots. Clot-busting agents (thrombolytics) are administered if the clot burden is more and to help speed up the breakdown of a clot. When medication proves to be ineffective, a catheter-based intervention is performed, where a thin tube called a catheter is inserted to break the large clots out of the artery.

 

5. How important is the follow-up care?

 Post-treatment for pulmonary embolism, some patients require lifelong anticoagulation drugs while a select few require a filter to be placed in inferior vena cava (great vein in the abdomen). This is to prevent the blood clots from returning. Regular check-ups are also essential to keep the condition in check.

 

For Appointment : Dr.Swaroop G. Bharadi, Consultant Cardiologist and Director Cathlab, CARE Hospitals


 Disclaimer: Welthi.com does not guarantee any specific results as a result of the procedures mentioned here, and the results may vary from person to person. Read more
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