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Apnea of prematurity
Acute respiratory distress syndrome
Pulmonary changes at high altitude and altitude sickness
Congenital pulmonary airway malformation
Superior vena cava syndrome
Meconium aspiration syndrome
Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome
Sudden infant death syndrome
Transient tachypnea of the newborn
Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
Restrictive lung diseases
Retropharyngeal and peritonsillar abscesses
Upper respiratory tract infection
Apnea, hypoventilation and pulmonary hypertension: Pathology review
Cystic fibrosis: Pathology review
Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: Pathology review
Lung cancer and mesothelioma: Pathology review
Obstructive lung diseases: Pathology review
Pleural effusion, pneumothorax, hemothorax and atelectasis: Pathology review
Pneumonia: Pathology review
Respiratory distress syndrome: Pathology review
Restrictive lung diseases: Pathology review
Tuberculosis: Pathology review
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A patient's perspective of living with Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Pulmonary Embolism Causes
Pulmonary Embolism Presentation and Diagnosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis & Pulmonary Embolism
pulmonary embolism p. 693
with pulmonary embolism p. 693
pulmonary emboli p. 693
chronic thromboembolism p. 699
deep venous thrombosis and p. 693
direct factor Xa inhibitors for p. 440
heparin for p. 440
respiratory alkalosis p. 612
tamoxifen/raloxifene and p. 445
thrombolytics for p. 442
ventilation/perfusion with p. 687
A pulmonary embolism happens when an embolus, which is a type of blockage, suddenly gets lodged inside a pulmonary artery.
Depending on which pulmonary artery or arteries are affected by the blockage, that can seriously decrease the amount of oxygenated blood that gets out to the body.
Normally, blood makes it back to the heart from all of the tissues and organs through a network of veins that merge over and over.
Superficial veins drain blood into deep veins, which rely on the skeletal muscle pump to move blood forward. The way it works is that the surrounding skeletal muscles compress the vein and propel blood forward, and the veins prevent blood from moving backwards by using one-way valves.
Ultimately, all of the blood ends up in the superior or inferior vena cava and dumps into the right atrium.
From there the blood goes into the right ventricle and gets pumped into pulmonary artery and eventually into the lungs.
The pulmonary artery splits at a spot called the pulmonary saddle, which looks like a bit like a horse saddle, and then the right and left pulmonary arteries enter their respective lungs.
Subsequent branches off the pulmonary artery lead to smaller and smaller arteries, then arterioles, and finally capillaries that form nets around the alveoli, which is where gas exchange occurs.
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of the lungs main artery or one of its branches by a substance that has traveled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism). PE most commonly results from a deep vein thrombosis (commonly a blood clot in a leg) that breaks off and migrates to the lung, a process termed venous thromboembolism (VTE). This can cause serious damage to the lung tissue and can be life-threatening.
Symptoms vary by the amount of downstream lung tissue denied blood, which creates a ventilation-perfusion mismatch. They include shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing. PE can also cause low blood oxygen levels, which can lead to confusion, loss of consciousness, and even death. Treatment of PE typically involves supportive therapy and blood thinning medications to dissolve the clot and prevent further clots from forming. Sometimes a filter is placed in the vena cava to trap clots before they reach the lungs.
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