A blood clot is a blood clump that has become gel-like or semi-solid. Most of the time, clotting is a necessary process that can help prevent you in certain cases from losing too much blood, such as when you are injured or cut. However, it can be very dangerous or even life-threatening when the clotting occurs in one of your veins. The blood clot in the lung is called pulmonary embolism (PE), the condition when a blood clot prevents vital organs from getting the oxygen and blood they need that traveled from the deep leg or pelvis veins and eventually causes blockage of blood flow. This condition may be very dangerous to the lung and other organs also cause fatal. This blockage can cause low oxygen level in the blood therefore normal blood flow cannot reach organ of the body, can damage part of the lung due to restricted blood flow and can be threatening to the patient if not treated. According to the Mayo Clinic, one-third of those who are undiagnosed or untreated are killed. Instant emergency treatment, however, greatly increases your chances of permanent lung damage.
The symptom occurs may be vary depending on the individual and where the clot is located, however, when these symptoms frequently occur ensure to meet physician for further diagnose.
Chest pain (sharp like stabbing) that is similar to the symptom of heart attack. However, there is a minor difference between these, therefore, it is advisable to consult a physician for further action. Coughing up blood, however, sometimes the cough may be dry however it is continues
Chest heaviness and feeling pain or having difficulties to breathe as less oxygen level in the blood due to the blood clot. Rapid heart rate, therefore, the patient will undergo shortness of breath and rapid breathing as the blood clot in the lung slow the oxygen flow. Next, patient may feel discomfort in other areas of upper body due to the blood clot in the lung.
The patient may have other symptoms such as sudden and severe dizziness also a headache.They also will undergo difficulty to speak and having vision problem. Next, the patient begins to sweat for no reason.
- Arm and leg
Swelling is the common symptoms of the blood clot, this is due to the healthy blood flow is block by the blood clot, therefore, can cause accumulation of blood and swelling. When having this symptoms patient have to rush to a physician for further check-up especially if the swelling comes with side pain. Redness, tenderness, and warmth are other symptoms that shown and you can see a bruise-like discoloration but more likely to see red and feel warm when touch.
Causes of the blood clot in the lung
Pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a clump, usually blood clot stuck into an artery in your lung that commonly come from the deep vein of the leg, the condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In most cases, several clots are involved, but not necessarily all at once. The portions of the lung served by each blocked artery are robbed of blood and can die. This is known as pulmonary infarction and this condition increases the difficulty for lungs to supply sufficient oxygen to part of the body. Blockages in the blood vessels are occasionally caused by non- blood clots, such as:
- Fat from the marrow of a broken long bone can go to the blood and cause it to clot
- Collagen or other tissue
- Part of a tumor
- Air bubbles
However, there is the risk factor that can increase the tendency having a blood clot in the lung including:
- Being overweight as women with excess weight and having high blood pressure have a higher risk to get a blood clot.
- Smoking as a recent study concludes that tobacco use leads to blood clot formation to some people, especially when combined with another risk factor.
- Pregnancy as baby weight pressing on the veins in the pelvis can slow the return of blood from the legs. When blood slows or pools, a blood clot is more likely to form.
- Taking birth control pill also give the risk to increase the clotting factor in the blood and cause the blood clot formation
This disease is inherited disorder that affects blood if your family member had a venous blood clot or pulmonary embolism in the past, therefore, you are at higher risk.
- Heart disease such as cardiovascular disease and heart failure have a higher tendency to form a blood clot formation
- Some cancers– especially pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers and many metastasized cancers– can increase blood clotting levels and chemotherapy increases the risk of blood clot further. Women with a personal or family history of tamoxifen or raloxifene also have a higher risk of blood clots.
- Surgery is one of the leading causes of blood clots problem. Therefore, clot prevention medications can be given before and after major surgery, such as joint replacement.
- Rest of bed- being kept in bed for a long time after surgery, a heart attack, a leg fracture, trauma or any serious disease makes you more vulnerable to blood clots. When the lower limbs are horizontal for long periods, the venous blood flows slowly and the blood flows into the legs.
- Long journeys- Sitting in a cramped position during long journeys by plane or car slows the blood flow in the legs, which helps to form clots.
Treatment is aimed at keeping the blood clot bigger and preventing the formation of new clots. Prompt treatment to prevent serious complications or death is essential.
- Thinners of the blood (anticoagulants). These medicines prevent the formation of new clots while your body breaks down the clots. Heparin is a frequently used anticoagulant that can be injected under the skin or through the vein. It acts rapidly and is often overlapped with an oral anticoagulant such as warfarin for several days until it is effective and can take days. A new class of anticoagulants (NOACs) has been tested and approved for the treatment of venous thromboembolism, including pulmonary embolism. These drugs work fast and have fewer interactions with other drugs. Some NOACs have the advantage that they are given by mouth without the need for heparin overlap. However, all anticoagulants have side effects, the most common being bleeding.
- Clots dissolver (thrombolytics). Although clots usually dissolve by themselves, drugs are given through the vein that can quickly dissolve clots. Since these drugs can cause sudden and severe bleeding, they are generally reserved for life-threatening situations.
- Surgical and other procedure
- Removal of the clot. If you have a very large, life-threatening clot in your lung, your doctor may suggest that you remove it from your blood vessels using a thin, flexible tube (catheter).
- The filter of Vein. A catheter can also be used to place a filter in the main vein of your body, called the lower vein cava, which leads from your legs to the right side of your heart. This filter can help to prevent clots from being transported into your lungs. This procedure is typically reserved for people who cannot take anticoagulant drugs or who are unable to use anticoagulant drugs as quickly as possible. When they are no longer needed, some filter can be removed.
How to Prevent
Preventing clots in your legs (deep vein thrombosis) in the deep veins helps to prevent pulmonary embolism. The majority of hospitals are therefore aggressive in taking measures to prevent blood clots, including:
- Thinning of the blood (anticoagulants). These drugs are often given to people at risk for clots before and after surgery, as well as to people admitted to hospital with a heart attack, stroke or cancer complications.
- Stockings for compression. Compression squeezes your legs steadily, helping your veins and leg muscles move blood more effectively. They offer a safe, simple and cost-effective way to prevent stagnation of blood during and after general surgery.
- Elevation of the leg. Raising your legs as much as possible and during the night can also be very effective. Raise the bottom of your bed with blocks or books for 4 to 6 inches.
- Physical exercise. After surgery, moving as soon as possible can help prevent pulmonary embolism and speed up recovery. This is one of the main reasons why your nurse can push you up even on your day of surgery and walk on the site of your surgical incision in spite of the pain.
- Compression of the pneumatic. This treatment uses thigh- high or calf- high cuffs that automatically inflate with air to massage and squeeze the veins in your legs and improve the blood flow every few minutes.
Prevention while traveling:
The risk of the development of blood clots during travel is low but increases as travel increases. If you have risk factors for blood clots and travel, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may suggest that you help to prevent blood clots during your journey:
- Drink lots of liquids. Water is the best liquid to prevent dehydration that can help blood clots develop. Avoid alcohol, which leads to fluid loss.
- From sitting, take a break. Aircraft cabin moves once an hour or so. When you drive, stop every hour and walk a few times around the car. Do a couple of deep knee bends.
- In your seat, fidget. Every 15 to 30 minutes, flex your ankles.
- Wear storage support. Your doctor may advise you to encourage circulation and fluid movement in your legs. Stocks for compression are available in a variety of stylish colors and textures. There are even devices called butlers for storage to help you put the storages.