A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a sudden blockage of one or more of the arteries in your lungs. It is typically caused by a blood clot that has developed in another part of your body (most often in the legs or pelvis) that has broken free and traveled through your bloodstream to your lung. This blockage results in damage to the lungs due to restricted blood flow, and a decrease in the oxygen in your blood that is necessary for healthy organ function. Pulmonary embolism is ranked third (behind heart attack and stroke) for most common cardiovascular diseases, and more than 300,000 people in the United States suffer from PE each year.
PE is a serious condition that can cause permanent damage to your lungs, and can even be fatal. Most of the time, the clots are small, so while they can still cause damage, they aren’t deadly. However, identifying and treating PE is vital to preventing lasting damage and saving your life.
The most common cause of a pulmonary embolism is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a medical condition in which blood clots form in veins deep in your body. These blood clots can be caused by a variety of things, including:
In some cases, you may be aware that you have a DVT blood clot, but if you see any of the symptoms below, seek medical attention, as it could be a pulmonary embolism. The most common symptoms of PE include:
You should see a doctor immediately if you notice any of these symptoms, especially if they are sudden or severe.
Any condition or issue that increases your risk of developing a blood clot also increases your risk of developing a PE blood clot. Some risk factors include:
If you have any of the risk factors listed above, seeking a diagnosis and preventative care can save your health and even your life.
While some risk factors may be unavoidable, changes in your lifestyle and preventative care can help you avoid a potentially serious health issue. The best way to prevent PE is to make changes that reduce your likelihood of developing blood clots in your legs, such as:
At IVC, we strive to provide you with the care you need if you are at risk for a pulmonary embolism or any type of blood clot. Call our office today at 503-612-0498 to talk to one of our team members.
This is for Dr. Pfister. I just wanted to thank him for all the time he spent with us the other week. In all the years I’ve had my vascular problems I’ve never had a doctor really sit down and explain to me the intricacies of what might be going on. I have a lot to think about…but just wanted to say thanks for being so nice and answering our many questions!L.H.
A fantastic group of wonderful people. The procedure was very smooth. When they were putting the port in I felt like I was getting a great massage!! Thank you all!S.C.
Charley was instrumental in getting me scheduled in quickly to get my PICC line removed. She actually worked until late in the day to get the information from my referring doctor’s office. It is nice to know great people like Charley still exist in this world!K.S.
I had my blood clot filter removed on 2/21/18. I was very apprehensive, yet EVERYONE in Dr. Pfister’s office and surgical team helped to make me comfortable. I am extremely claustrophobic so laying down or having something covering my face creates anxiety. Mary Anne listened to my concerns and made sure I was made comfortable and did not feel anxious. The surgical team was amazing, they explained everything thoroughly. Dr. Pfister came in after the procedure to review what he did and discuss any follow up that might be required. I so appreciate the time and attention he gives me as his patient. This was a positive experience.G.H.
110% Thank You! Best unit so far in my cancer treatment. Thanks Dr. LoveAnonymous
If you ever need an Interventional Radiologist for a child I realize it is serious business. I’ve seen Dr. Love go and save a child’s kidney without missing a beat. I could recommend no one better for myself, or for people I love. I think he is a little cool at the bedside, but that’s OK Dr. Love, stay frosty! If you can’t see Dr. Love, one of the other professionals at IVC will be able to help you. Ashley, the dynamite scheduler and one of the other surgeons at IVC will care for you. I’ve had multiple surgeries with this practice over the past several years. Never a hiccup!S. R. – Portland, OR
Great experience, doctor was thorough in explaining what was going to happen. The nurses were very attentive and made sure I was comfortable and my needs were met. I would recommend this office for any related procedure.Anonymous
Everything went very smoothly. Joe enjoyed the music. Very friendly staff! Good Experience!J. & E.
All staff was courteous and efficient. Good experience.J. J.
Dr. Pfister, thanks so much for your excellent care, removing my chemo port earlier this week. With all your experience and your fine touch, I’m confident the scar will be nearly invisible. Your team, from beginning to end, did a super job with me. Please extend my gratitude to Jennifer, Mary Anne, Todd and Charley. I’ve got a whole lot of living left to do. I appreciate all of you helping me do it!M. F.
Dr. Pfister, thank you for all of the attention you gave to me. I learned lots from our discussion – hearing you speak of ultimate healing was enough to encourage me to do all I can to strengthen those muscles.S. O.
The entire office is one of the most professional, helpful and informative medical offices I have dealt with (and I have dealt with many). Kudos to Jennifer, Henry, and Charley!K. C.
Great people. Great place. Good surgery.G. G.
Patty, Mary Anne and the whole staff was amazing! Best experience I’ve had since being diagnosed with cancer. From start to finish, was great. Thanks.M
My brother came into Legacy Meridian Park, had a stroke. Dr. Bauer came in immediately, in his work jeans and shirt. He worked with Neurologist Dr. Burbank, developed a plan and took my brother into a procedure where they removed the clot from his head! Very down to earth doctor, explained procedure to family, worked with sense of urgency.J. P.
I want to comment regarding Dr. Bauer of how he was thorough explaining my CT Biopsy and showing me how on the computer he would get the tissue needed. In all the years of several surgeries I have never felt better going in to have a procedure done. His bedside manner was incredible. I wish all doctors were like Dr. Bauer. Thank you for preparing and relaxing me prior to the biopsy.R.S. Molalla OR
Everyone did a superb job taking care of me and doing the procedure. Thank You AllK.S.
Dr. Bauer genuinely cares about his patients and strives to make sure they understand every aspect of their treatment.A. L.
Dr. Bauer, our family wants you to know how thankful we are to you for saving G.P.’s life and bringing him back to us in normal health. Thank you over and over you are the best!Family of G. P.