Preventing pulmonary embolism begins with preventing DVT. If you think that you have DVT or if you are experiencing symptoms of a pulmonary embolism, contact your doctor immediately.
(Click Pulmonary Embolism Prevention to learn more about preventing this condition. Click DVT for more information about deep vein thrombosis.)
Other names include:
- PE (pulmonary embolism)
- Venous thromboembolism (VTE).
Key information about pulmonary embolism includes the following:
- A pulmonary embolism is a blockage of an artery in the lung. It is usually due to a blood clot that traveled to the lung from the leg.
- In most cases, it is a complication of a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In DVT, blood clots form in the deep veins of the body. These clots can break free, travel to the lung, and block an artery.
- A pulmonary embolism blocks blood flow to part of the lung -- it can be a life-threatening condition.
- Pulmonary embolism is one of the most common causes of death in hospitalized people who must remain in bed for a long time.