Pulmonary embolisms occur when a foreign body, usually a blood clot, blocks the supply of blood to the lungs. This is a serious condition, which can often be life threatening for all age groups.
A pulmonary embolism develops when the blood clot travels from your leg up into your lungs. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of the major risk factors for pulmonary embolisms. A DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the veins in your leg; symptoms include tenderness, swelling and pain in the calf muscle.
If the embolism is caused by a blood clot and it is not causing emergency symptoms, anticoagulant medication (usually Heparin) may be used to dissolve the clot and stop more blood clots forming.
Patients in the following situations may also be at increased risk of developing a fatal blood clot in the lung:
- Elderly people, especially if they have to spend a lot of time in bed
- After an operation, especially in the abdomen
- Being overweight increases the risk even more
- Pelvic fractures and fractures of the lower limb
- Pregnancy and childbirth
The most important symptom is breathlessness, which often occurs suddenly and for which there is no other explanation. You may feel a sudden pain in your chest, cough up blood in your phlegm and/or start feeling uncomfortable, nervous and anxious.
Unfortunately, errors continue to occur in the diagnosis of the symptoms of DVT/pulmonary embolism, resulting in fatal consequences. This can happen either at hospital or with a general practitioner.
If you have suffered from DVT or pulmonary embolism, get in touch with us. Our specialist medical mistakes department can help you get the compensation you deserve.