Lungs are a vital part of the human body. They oxygenate the blood and are responsible for breathing which in essence is life itself. Unfortunately, many people ignore lungs when it comes to taking care of their health.
Pakistanis are right on the above-mentioned track and lung-health is deteriorating in the country. According to a report by World Life Expectancy, lung diseases cause 4.65% of the total deaths in the country. In other words, 56,666 people die of lung diseases in Pakistan each year.
In this article, we will be discussing one of the deadliest lung diseases known as a pulmonary embolism and how you can deal with it.
What is pulmonary embolism?
Pulmonary embolism is the name of the condition when a blood clot gets stuck in the pulmonary artery. The pulmonary artery is the main artery which supplies blood from the heart to the lungs. The lungs oxygenate the blood and push it back to the heart from where it gets transported to the rest of the body.
In case of a pulmonary embolism, the blood is unable to flow smoothly in and out of the lungs. As a result, it does not get proper oxygen. This blood without oxygen can seriously damage all the organs of the body when it reaches them and can even be fatal. Sometimes long bed rests after surgeries can cause these blood clots which is a reason why doctors usually recommend getting up for a few steps within a few days of surgery.
The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism have a sudden onset and require immediate attention of a lung specialist. Two major symptoms of pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath and chest pain.
People experiencing a pulmonary embolism may also suffer from back pain along with bloody cough. There is a chance of a feeling of lightheadedness and in extreme cases the patient may also pass out. The patient’s nails may also turn black or blue.
Sometimes the pulmonary embolism may come after another medical condition known as deep vein thrombosis which refers to blood clots in a limb. These blood clots have the potential to move around and turn into a pulmonary embolism.
Some of the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis are swelling of the affected limb, popped out veins and discoloration of the affected limb. Once deep vein thrombosis develops, there is no time to waste the patient should be rushed immediately to the hospital.
To treat a pulmonary embolism, the lung specialist is likely to prescribe blood thinners. These blood thinners will not only stop the blood clots from getting any bigger, it will also stop new clots from forming. In extreme cases, the pulmonologist may also use a catheter to insert medicine which will further be used to dissolve the clots.
Pulmonary embolism is a dangerous, potentially fatal condition. If you start seeing its symptoms, instead of guessing or self-diagnosis you should rush to the doctor and seek treatment immediately.
This article was produced in partnership with oladoc.com, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find top lung specialist in Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, and book an appointment online.