Pulmonary Embolism




Pulmonary Embolisms are one of the most dangerous forms of heart disease. In fact, studies have even proven that their mortality rate is approximately 30%, which means if treatment is not taken care of if a cardiologist is not seeken, this embolism is extremely life threatening (2). Pulmonary Embolisms are clots or specific blockages within the arteries of the lungs and the embolism is the specific substance that is causing the clot, mostly caused by thrombocytes, but can also be foods that increase fatty acids and cause plaque buildup (3). It primarily builds up in the artery, because that is the blood vessel that moves blood away from the heart and to parts of the body. One of the biggest symptoms of pulmonary embolisms would by dyspnea, which is shortness or lack of breath, as well as angina pectoris, which is chest pain. The specific chest pain that patients with pulmonary embolisms have is the sensation in which they feel their heart is pounding and feels like it is about to burst. Another symptom is ischemia, in which the artery becomes narrow or blocked by the embolus (3). Specific types of embolisms include a thrombus or blood clot, air embolism caused by the lungs, or buildup of fat in the arteries, as mentioned earlier. More symptoms include feeling dizzy, light headed, suffering from palpitations, arrhythmia, and more. Studies have also proven that approximately 25% of all patients or individuals that suffer from pulmonary embolisms also suffer from pulmonary hypertension, which is a rapid increase in heart rate and higher blood pressure. It is also a grave condition in which the arteries that move blood to the lungs are blocked and prevents breathing capabilities. The best treatments for pulmonary embolisms are anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, ensure that the clotting time is extended and helps provide more time to talk to a doctor and get these embolisms surgically operated on. A great way to fix pulmonary embolisms or prevent them from occurring again is to ensure that a healthy or restricted diet is followed, specifically avoiding saturated or trans fats. The surgical procedure used for pulmonary embolisms would be the percutaneous embolectomy, which is removing the thrombus or embolism from the specific artery, mostly coronary artery, with using a tool called a catheter (4). A catheter is a hollow tube, which are meant to pass through small crevices or smaller holes, where a surgeon cannot place their hands into (4). Catheters also don’t harm any of the cardiac muscle or tissue, so it is more safe than using a hand to get rid of the embolism. There are also instances where a balloon is also placed within the catheter to “swallow” the embolism and suck it out of the artery and bring it out directly. The balloon gets inflated once entering the artery, gets sucked, and the catheter gets taken out slowly from the incision point, sternum, made in the body (1).


Sources

Bĕlohlávek, Jan, et al. “Pulmonary Embolism, Part I: Epidemiology, Risk Factors and Risk Stratification, Pathophysiology, Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis and Nonthrombotic Pulmonary Embolism.” Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, vol. 18, no. 2, 2013, pp. 129–138, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718593/.


Krans, Brian. “Pulmonary Embolism.” Healthline, 14 Nov. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/pulmonary-embolus#causes.


NYU Langone Health, 3 Mar. 2021, nyulangone.org.


“Percutaneous Pulmonary Embolectomy: Indications, Techniques and Outcomes.” Vascular Disease Management, 2010, www.vasculardiseasemanagement.com/content/percutaneous-pulmonary-embolectomy-indications-techniques-and-outcomes.