Severity of pulmonary embolism

A PE is a much less well known disease than cerebral ischemia (stroke) or myocardial infarction, but more serious

For every patient with PE, there are three patients with myocardial infarction and three with ischemic stroke. The mortality rate is a bit higher in PE patients than in those with myocardial infarction or stroke.

Most patients respond well to anticoagulants, but in a few cases PE causes the heart not to work properly. These patients must be admitted in intensive care units to receive stronger drugs (fibrinolytic) to break the clots. Still, many of these patients die of the disease.

It is also true that there is a group of patients of intermediate severity of the disease, who receive a treatment of blood thinners, anticoagulants, but this requires closer monitoring than with the others.

Doctors who serve these patients, are trained to identify each of these groups and to choose the best treatment for them. In addition, PE worsens the prognosis of certain diseases that the patient could have had previously, such as cancer, heart failure or chronic bronchitis.

 

RELATED QUESTIONS

 

A year ago I had a pulmonary embolism and seven months ago I stop taking anticoagulants. My question is, how much should I wait for getting pregnant and for this problem not to happen again?

If you don’t have sequelae (3% of the patients stay with shortness of breath after a pulmonary embolism), you can get pregnant now. Nonetheless, as soon as you know that you are pregnant, you should contact your doctor. He/she will decide if you should receive any phrophylaxis during your pregnancy. Pregnancy and delivery are a risk factor for developing a new venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. However, there are effective methods for prevention.

A month ago I had a pulmonary embolism and I’m now taking Sintrom. However, I’ve been experiencing a burning sensation in my leg and shortness of breath for a couple of days; they are the same symptoms I had a month ago, when I suffered the embolism. Could it be happening again?

It is normal, yes. After a pulmonary embolism, some areas of the lung can be injured or swollen, which might cause sharp pain, especially with breathing movements. They can last months, or even years. If you have already gone to your doctor and he has ruled out a new embolism, don’t worry.

A month ago I had a pulmonary embolism and I’m now taking Sintrom. However, I’ve been experiencing a burning sensation in my leg and shortness of breath for a couple of days; they are the same symptoms I had a month ago, when I suffered the embolism. Could it be happening again?

Most likely, the cause of your current discomfort is just the apprehension that many patiens suffer from such an episode like this. 3 out of 100 patients with pulmonary embolism suffer from a new episode despite being correctly treated. Go to your doctor. If your doctor finds any objective sign that makes us think about a new embolism episode (low oxygen concentration in blood, leg swelling…) he will then set the tests in order to confirm it or rule it out.

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October 2018

 

 

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