Acute massive pulmonary embolism

What Is Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism?

Acute massive pulmonary embolism is a type of life-threatening condition in which one or more major blood vessels in the lungs become blocked due to the presence of blood clots. This condition is considered to be extremely severe and requires immediate medical attention. Left untreated, it can lead to death.

In acute massive pulmonary embolism, blood clots, or emboli, form within a blood vessel and travel until they become lodged in a pulmonary artery. This blocks the flow of blood to the lungs and can severely reduce oxygen levels in the body. It is one of the deadliest forms of pulmonary embolism, accounting for as many as 15-30% of all deaths due to this condition.

Symptoms of Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism

Symptoms of acute massive pulmonary embolism can vary depending on the size and location of the blood clot. Some common symptoms include:

  • Sudden onset of chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Faster than normal heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

Diagnosing Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism

If a doctor suspects acute massive pulmonary embolism, they will typically run tests to confirm or rule out the diagnosis. Common tests for acute massive pulmonary embolism include:

  • Blood tests
  • X-ray
  • CT scans
  • Echocardiogram
  • MRI

In addition, a doctor may need to take a sample of the embolus in order to confirm the diagnosis. This may require a blood clot removal procedure known as embolectomy.

Treatment for Acute Massive Pulmonary Embolism

The treatment for acute massive pulmonary embolism usually includes anticoagulants, or blood thinners, to help dissolve the clot and allow for better blood flow. Other treatments may include thrombolytics, which are medications that can break up blood clots, or clot-busting drugs. In cases where treatment is not effective, surgery may be needed to remove the clot.

If you have any of the symptoms of acute massive pulmonary embolism, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Early intervention is the key to reducing the serious complications associated with this condition.