Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pulmonary Embolism

One of the big problems with cancer is clots in the lung blood vessels. It is a significant cause of death in cancer patients. Most people do not really know or understand it about it.

Cancer is a condition which makes blood sticky. If you combine this with the fact that the patient is not very mobile, not drinking enough of fluid, is on chemotherapy via intravenous access device, is on medication which also affects the clotting of blood... it is a fairly strong combination for clot formation.

People can develop clots in their legs, which then breaks off and there are showers of clots in the lung blood vessels. A large blood clots in the lung vessels can potentially kill the patient.

The treatment is making the blood thinner with medications - heparin, heparin like drugs or warfarin.

The important issue being awareness of the condition. Sudden shortness of breath, cough, sharp chest pain, etc are some of the main symptoms.

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