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Pulmonary Embolism

If you experience chest pain , call EMERGENCY or have someone take you to the nearest hospital's emergency department immediately.

PE is difficult to diagnose from a medical perspective, even with the latest tests and equipment available. For this reason, you should not try to diagnose yourself or treat yourself at home and should seek immediate care and evaluation in an emergency department.

PE has the potential to be fatal. If you suspect that you have a PE, you should seek immediate medical attention in the emergency department.

After you are discharged from the hospital, you will be monitored very closely by your doctor. Stay in close contact with your doctor to monitor your condition and make medications adjustments as necessary.

A blood test called the international normalized ratio or INR is perhaps the most important follow-up care. This test looks at the level of blood thinning that the medications is achieving. At first, your blood may be checked every few days or weekly. Once your INR stabilizes, less frequent checks will occur (perhaps every 1-2 months).

The best way to prevent a PE is to avoid the risk factors.

A frequent cause of PE is long car or airplane trips when the blood pools in the legs and forms a blood clot that then breaks loose and travels to the lung.

  • Stop at least every 2 hours on a car trip and stretch your legs and walk.
  • On long airplane flights, get up and walk the aisle at least once an hour to prevent blood clot formation.


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