All In The Know About Pulmonary Embolism Treatment

Pulmonary embolism is a medical term used to refer to a blood clot that occurs in the
lungs. It causes restricted blood flow which progresses into reduced oxygen
levels in the blood and other body organs. These clots actually damage the
lungs and can be fatal if left untreated.

How Is It Treated?

Pulmonary embolism
treatment
is usually offered in
hospital after diagnosis. According to doctors, the chances of surviving
permanent lung damage are increased if pulmonary embolism is treated early.
During treatment, you will be required to stay in the hospital as your
condition gets closely monitored.

The length of your medical care procedure will
depend on the size and location of the blood clot. Multiple treatment options
have been proven effective to treat
pulmonary embolism
. Again, depending on the size of the clot and
the severity of the pulmonary embolism condition, the treatment procedure may
be complicated. Also, the doctor may prescribe medication to dissolve the clot.
Let’s have a look at them.

Anticoagulant medications

Also known as blood thinners. Anticoagulants
inhibit the blood coagulation process and manipulate the formation of thrombus.
In layman’s language these drugs reduce the blood’s ability to clot by thinning
the blood. They also prevent the occurrence of blood clots in the future after
treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe either:

  • Heparin- comes
    in liquid form and injected directly into the vein.
  • Warfarin- it is
    taken orally in the form of a tablet.
  • Fondaparinux- it
    is injected and directed under the skin, once a day.
  • Low
    molecular-weight heparin- normally prescribed to patients taking the medication
    at home. The drug can be injected beneath the skin once or twice a day
    depending on the clot size.

The main side effects associated with blood
thinners, is internal bleeding once the blood thins too much. It is therefore
essential to follow the doctor’s instructions carefully and understand
precisely how to take the medication.

Compression stockings

They can be referred to as a support hose. These
stockings are often available in knee-high length. They aid in consistent blood
flow in the legs preventing blood from being pooled. Your doctor will diagnose
your condition and see if you are the right candidate for compression socks.
You will be directed by the doctor on how long you will use them and how to
handle them.

Surgery

As earlier mentioned, pulmonary embolism is a
life-threatening condition. If all other treatments fail, your doctor may
recommend going under the scalpel. The surgical procedure should remove the
embolus from the blood system. Also, the doctor may suggest an inter-ventional
procedure where a filter is placed inside the vena cava (largest vein). The
filter should capture all clots before entering the lungs. This usually is the
last solution.

Thrombolytic therapy

It is a rare treatment option that is normally
set aside for patients with special cases. Such cases may include low blood
pressure or any other chronic conditions that put the patient’s life on the
line, coupled with pulmonary embolism. During thrombolytic therapy, the patient
is put under clot busters (thrombolytic medications) that will eat up the clot.
However, they will be put under close monitoring to keep watch of how the
medication is working.

Even after medication, clots may reoccur. It is
therefore advisable to keep scheduling visits to the doctor for follow up and
for further investigations to identify the reason for the clot. This piece sums
all there is to pulmonary embolism treatment.

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