Pulmonary Embolism Treatment
Emergency Treatment for Pulmonary EmbolismWhen pulmonary embolism is life-threatening, doctors may use treatments to remove or break up clots in the lungs. These are given in the emergency room or hospital and include:
- Medications called thrombolytics to quickly dissolve the blood clot.
- Surgery to remove the blood clot.
- A new procedure that uses a catheter to reach the clots. The catheter may be used to extract the clot or deliver medication to dissolve it.
Other Forms of Pulmonary Embolism Treatment
Vena cava filters are used when patients cannot take medications to thin their blood, or if they are taking blood thinners and still continue to develop clots. The vena cava filter is inserted in a folded position into a large vein called the inferior vena cava, which is the vein that carries blood from the body back to the heart.
The filter can catch the blood clots as they try to move through the body to the lungs. This treatment for pulmonary embolism can prevent a clot from traveling to the lungs, but it cannot stop other blood clots from forming.
Compression stockings are worn on the legs from the arch of the foot to just above or below the knee. These stockings are tight at the ankle and become looser as they go up the leg. This causes a gentle compression (or pressure) up your leg. The stockings provide support and reduce the chronic swelling that can occur in the leg after a blood clot has occurred.