Have you ever felt a sudden onset of shortness of breath and pain in your chest area? This is something which can be critical to your health. You may need to get a serious checkup done. It is something caused by a blood clot. And when that is the case, the reason can be pulmonary embolism.

In this article I am going to be talking to you all that you need to know of this condition and how to treat it properly. From the name itself you may get confused and worried as to what it means and it is basically a blockage happens in the lungs.

Pulmonary embolism is basically when you will notice a blockage in the pulmonary artery. This is the major artery which is actually pumping blood to the lungs. Hence now you would know why it is a serious condition which needs serious action.

It is something which affects thousands of people around the world. Let’s learn all there is about this condition:

What is Pulmonary Embolism?

what is Pulmonary Embolism

So this basically relates to a blood clot which is forming in the lungs. It basically happens when there is another blood clot in another part of the body. This then moves through the bloodstream and it will become dislodged in the lung’s blood vessels.

What happens next is that this will then be restricting the proper blood flow into the lungs. It can cause many complications including lowering the oxygen levels in the lungs. And it will also increase the blood pressure in these arteries.

Now when a clot will develop in the veins, it is what’s called thrombus. When this will detach from the vein’s wall and it actually travels to another part of the body, it is what becomes an embolus.

These conditions are actually quite serious and would require your due attention in time. Otherwise they will lead to even more complications from which there is no return.

So how can we recognize that a person is suffering from pulmonary embolism?

Let’s check out the major symptoms:

Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism

  • The major kind is you will feel chest pain. This is universal and can happen in most cases. This pain is very sharp and it feels like someone is stabbing you in the chest.
  • It actually makes your breathing even worse.
  • You will notice that there is increased heartbeat or even irregular heartbeat
  • In some cases, dizziness can be taking place
  • It becomes difficult for you to catch your breath even
  • There is rapid breathing which becomes uncontrollable
  • In some cases you will have an onset of coughing, which becomes even worse with time

These symptoms are not relating to every case and with time, can even become worse. You can also be subjected to unconsciousness and even death. It is very important for you to recognize if there is trouble and take action accordingly.

Now I want to talk about the causes of this condition. What are the reasons responsible for this condition:

Causes of Pulmonary Embolism

the dynamics of pulmonary Embolism

So this basically happens due to an embolus. This is what we call a blood clot. It actually blocks the blood from flowing through the arteries.

A blood clot can definitely be something of a major concern. It usually sets off from your arm or leg. After which it can also break free and will travel through your circulatory system towards your lungs.

Now this blood clot will find it hard to pass through the small vessels which exist and this is when a blockage will form.

When that happens, the blood flow is impacted and this will affect your lungs, making it hard for you to breath due to the lack of oxygen.

Risk Factors to Consider

While you have had a good overview on what are the major causes, I want to now talk about the kind of risk factors you should be considering. These will include:

  • Not being able to move for a long time and sitting in one place constantly.
  • Having changes in how the blood usually and normally flows through your vessels.
  • When you have blood in your arteries which is likely to clot. This means if you are taking medications like even birth control pills, they will impact the quality of your blood.
  • Even certain medical conditions like pregnancy and surgery can make you prone to this condition
  • In certain cases, there may be some damages to your blood vessel wall. This makes it hard for you to move around. Making your case a likely one to develop complications.
  • This might be rare, but in certain cases, if you break a bone, then the fat from the same can actually pass through your blood. And this will cause blockage and complications.

Medical Conditions

focusing on medical conditions

So while we are talking about how this condition can be an onset, let’s now look into how there are some medical conditions which can also make you prone to suffering from this state. These include:

Heart diseases

If you are suffering from a heart condition, you will likely suffer from the state where a blood clot can form. This clot formation may take time in developing but when it happens, you will notice how it is also bringing forth many complications in the case.


There are some cancer types which make you prone to developing this condition. This includes cancer of colon, stomach as well as your lung and kidneys. It will definitely be increasing your chances of developing blood clots. It is also more common in women who have a family history of health complications.


This is one of the leading causes of this condition. It is due to medications that will be preventing clots. You should be taking these on a regular basis as it avoids further complications.


This is now the leading case of getting this condition. Many of the serious cases, have suffered from this condition which makes your blood clot and stops oxygen from reaching into the brains, leading to death as well.

Other Risk Factors

So while we have talked about some of the leading causes, I want to now hit upon some other factors you should be putting into consideration. These include:


Tobacco is known to cause severe complications. It is one of the leading reasons as to why blood clot formation can happen.


This is yet another reason. If you are carrying excess weight, it will be increasing your chances of developing blood clots. This is especially true in case of those who are also having other risk factors in tow. Cut back on sugar intake. It will make a major difference.

Estrogen Supplements 

Did you know that there are high levels of estrogen in birth control pills as well as hormonal replacement therapy. This is what causes you to suffer from clotting factors. Again the chances are higher if you are also obese and a strong smoker.


This is definitely a leading cause. It is when your baby’s weight is actually pressing onto your veins and in the pelvis. This will slow the blood from returning from the legs. And it leads to clot formation especially when the blood starts to slow down.


highlighting complications

So now that you have a fair idea on this condition, I want to let you know that can be life-threatening. As much as 1/3 of the people who have this condition but are not diagnosed will not be able to survive it.  But in case the condition is found and treatment begins in a timely manner, your chances of surviving it are readily increased.

This condition can further develop and lead to even pulmonary hypertension. This is when the blood pressure in your lungs becomes way too high. When you are suffering from obstructions in the arteries, you will notice how your heart actually has to work even harder to push the blood through your vessels.

These complications make this condition even worse and you need to create timely treatment to ensure complications do not arise.

So now let’s talk about some of the major prevention tactics you need to be using.

Prevention of Pulmonary Embolism

So to prevent this condition, you need to prevent the clotting in the deep veins in your legs. Hence it is important to adapt certain measures:

Using Blood Thinners

It is the medication which is given to people who are likely to develop this condition. It is definitely in the case of those who are going to have surgery, or are suffering from other medical conditions.


So this basically means how you will steadily be squeezing the legs as to make sure that the blood is moving in your veins and leg muscles efficiently. This is actually a safer and simpler way of getting the rhythm done.

Leg elevation

This actually related to when you make it a habit to elevate your leg and try to make this movement every few times in a day to ensure the blood circulation is effective.

Physical Activity 

Lastly it is important that you consider taking part in physical activities. It is especially important in the case of when you are trying to massage your legs. It is effective as it will improve the blood flow, keeping your chances of getting pulmonary embolism to a low.