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Pulmonary Embolism


Overview :

Pulmonary embolism is a fairly common condition that can be fatal. According to the American Heart Association, an estimated 600,000 Americans develop pulmonary embolism annually; 60,000 die from it. As many as 25,000 Americans are hospitalized each year for pulmonary embolism, which is a relatively common complication in hospitalized patients. Even without warning symptoms, pulmonary embolism can cause sudden death. Treatment is not always successful.

Pulmonary embolism is difficult to diagnose. Less than 10% of patients who die from pulmonary embolism were diagnosed with the condition. It occurs when emboli block a pulmonary artery, usually due to a blood clot that breaks off from a large vein and travels to the lungs. More than 90% of cases of pulmonary embolism are complications of deep vein thrombosis, blood clots from the leg or pelvic veins. Emboli can also be comprised of fat, air, or tumor tissue. When emboli block the main pulmonary artery, pulmonary embolism can quickly become fatal.




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