While it is possible for any individual to have blood clot in the vessels that may cause pulmonary embolism, there is no doubt that specific factors may augment the chances of having this condition.
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Pulmonary embolism requires immediate and proper treatment to avoid development of complications and sometimes even death. This condition may be treated by using anticoagulants, using clot dissolvers, vein filters, removing clots and by undergoing surgery.
Anticoagulants: Administration of heparin in the form of an injection provides quick results. In addition, you may use warfarin (Coumadin) and/ or rivaroxaban (Xarelto) which are available in pill form. While these medications also put off the development of blood clots, it usually takes some days before rivaroxaban or warfarin actually start working. Use of anticoagulants also has its downsides and the patients may experience side effects like bruising easily and bleeding gums.
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Thrombolytics (clot dissolvers): Usually, most of the blood clots dissolve by themselves, but there are specific medications that may help in dissolving the clots more quickly. However, these drugs are not used often and set aside only for severe conditions, because using them may result in abrupt and serious incidences of bleeding.
In a number of particular incidences of blood clotting, it is likely that your physician will ask you to heal pulmonary embolism using specific measures, including vein filter, clot removal and even surgery.
Vein filter: This treatment process involves using a catheter to position a filter in the inferior vena cava (the most important vein, which starts from the legs to the heart's right side). This filter works to catch as well as prevent the blood clots from traveling through the vessels that go to your lungs. This mode of treatment or inserting a filter is only meant for patients who are unable to take anticoagulant medicaments or in patients who do not get the desired benefits by using anticoagulants.
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Clot removal: This mode of treatment for pulmonary embolism is especially meant for people having significantly big clot in their lung and is extremely distressed. In this case, the physician is likely to pass a thin, supple tube (also called catheter) through the blood vessels and force the clot out. While this process of removing blood clots from the vessels is very complicated, it is also not successful all the times.
Surgery: When people with pulmonary embolism are in a distress and the thrombolytic drugs they are taking are not yielding the desired results or working as quickly as expected, it is possible that your physician will suggest you to undergo an emergency operation. Although this occurs very rarely, the objective of the surgery is to get rid of the maximum number of blood clots possible, particularly if the patient has a large blood clot in his/ her central (main) pulmonary artery.
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When patients with pulmonary embolism or those with a propensity to suffer from blot clot problems are admitted to hospitals, special measures are initiated to cure the condition. These measures include anticoagulant therapy, using pneumatic compression, making the patient wear graduated compression stockings and also undertake physical activities.
Anticoagulant therapy: In hospitals, medical practitioners administer anticoagulants like a heparin injection to people having blood clot problems prior to as well as following an operation. Anticoagulants are also given to patients who are admitted to the hospital with a stroke, heart attack and also with complications related to burn injuries and cancer. In addition, the patients may also be given oral anticoagulants like warfarin for some days prior to any important surgery with a view to lessen the chances of developing blood clots.
Pneumatic compression: This therapy entails using calf-high or thigh-high cuffs that fill with air by itself at intervals of few minutes to massage as well as squeeze the veins in the legs, thereby improving blood circulation to the legs.
Graduated compression stockings: This specialty compression stockings squeeze the legs gradually, facilitating the efficient flow of blood through the veins as well as the muscles in the legs. This is a very simple and economic means to ensure that blood does not pool in the veins following any common surgery.
Physical activity: It is important to note that resuming mobility at the earliest following a surgery is an effective way to put off pulmonary embolism and also hasten the general recuperation. In fact, this is why nurses often persuade you to rise from the bed and take a walk, just a day after an operation.
As sitting in cramped position while undertaking long trips, whether by an aircraft or a vehicle, contributes to formation of blood clots in the veins located in the legs, you may initiate a number of measures to prevent this from happening.
First and foremost, it is essential that you should take a walk even while making a trip. In case you are traveling by an aircraft, get out of your seat and just walk around the airplane's cabin whenever possible. On the other hand, provided you are driving, stop your vehicle at intervals of an hour and walk around the car for a few times. It will also be helpful if you bend your knees for a couple of times.
Even while you are sitting, do some exercise to loosen, extend and turn your ankles around or even press the feet against the seat facing you. Alternately, you may rise from your seat and get down on your toes. Most importantly, never sit keeping your legs crossed for a prolonged period.
In addition, you need to ensure that you wear some kind of support stockings, which exert a firm and constant pressure helping the prevention of blood from amassing inside the deep veins. For instance, you may make use of a particular device known as a stocking butler, as it will facilitate in wearing the support stockings.
At the same time, drink lots of fluids, especially water and fruit juices to avoid dehydration. In fact, water is considered to be the best liquid to tackle with dehydration, which may add to the formation of blood clots in the veins. In addition, you also need to keep away from consuming alcoholic beverages or drinking caffeine, as these substances promote loss of body fluids.
Provided your physician has suggested so, you may also take heparin. In case you have suffered from or are still enduring VTE or DVT, it is advisable that you consult your physician prior to embarking on a long journey. It is possible that your physician will ask you to administer a dosage of long-acting heparin by yourself immediately prior to undertaking the trip. In addition, your physician may also tell you if you require repeating the heparin dose before the return journey.
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