Pulmonary Embolism Information
A sudden blockage that occurs in an artery in the lung, pulmonary embolism is one of the leading causes of death in hospitalized people who must remain in bed for a long time. This serious condition usually occurs when a blood clot in a vein breaks off, travels through the bloodstream, and lodges in the lung.
In over half of all cases, people with pulmonary embolism have no symptoms. If symptoms are present, they often include:
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Chest pain that gets worse with a deep breath, coughing, or chest movement
- Coughing up blood.
(For more information, including details on how often this condition occurs each year, click Pulmonary Embolism.)