Pulmonary embolism refers to a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. Pulmonary embolism is often caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs, arms, or abdomen. It can also result from other substances such as fat or air bubbles lodging in your lungs’ arteries. The portions of lung tissue served by the blocked arteries are robbed of blood and could die. This is known as a pulmonary infarction, which makes it difficult for your lungs to provide oxygen to the rest of the body.
A pulmonary embolism can also lead to what’s known as pulmonary hypertension, where the blood pressure in the lungs and on the right side of the heart is elevated. When the arteries inside your lungs are blocked, it forces the heart to work harder. This escalates the blood pressure, which can weaken the heart because of the overexertion, which can be very dangerous.
Factors that can greatly increase your risk for pulmonary embolism:
If you have suffered a pulmonary embolism, reach out to the Denver medical injury attorneys at Burg Simpson right away so we can help you receive the compensation you deserve. Call 303-792-5595 as soon as possible or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form now so we can contact you directly.
There are a number of factors that can put someone at greater risk of pulmonary embolism, the greatest of which is the presence of deep vein thrombosis, or a history of it. Other risks include:
- A slower natural blood flow, or atypical clotting
- Immobility, such as being bedridden
- A recent surgical procedure
If you have any of these risk factors, it is crucial you pay close attention to the potential symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary embolism symptoms vary depending on your health and how much of your lung is involved. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain, particularly sharp, stabbing pains that occur suddenly
- A dry cough that may produce bloody sputum
- Leg pain or swelling, or both, usually in the calf
- Clammy or discolored skin (cyanosis)
- Excessive sweating
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Passing out
If you or a loved one experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or a dry cough producing bloody sputum, it is critical that you get medical attention and call our Colorado medical malpractice attorneys.
Reach out to a Colorado Medical Injury Lawyer Now
Pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening, and prompt treatment is crucial. If the symptoms are misdiagnosed, missed completely, or disregarded, the resulting delay can be catastrophic. In fact, about a third of undiagnosed or untreated patients do not survive a pulmonary embolism. Unfortunately, there are times when a fatal injury could have easily been avoided if the treating medical professionals had acted appropriately. Contact our Colorado medical malpractice attorneys at Burg Simpson immediately by filling out a FREE Case Evaluation form or calling 303-792-5595.