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DoctorS
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Experience:  MD, 30 years of medical practice
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I was just in the hospital for 2 weeks with heart failure.

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I was just in the hospital for 2 weeks with heart failure. When I was admitted, I had severe pain in my chest, tachycardia, difficulty breathing, crackles at the base of my right lung, and they kept hearing a second heart sound when they listened to my heart by my boob. I have also been experiencing tachycardia even when I am not doing anything, but it is worse when I walk and it becomes more pronounced when I lie on my left side. My cardiologist walked me twice around the hospital hall and my O2 level went down to 89 and it happened again when I was just sitting in bed. The nurses noticed that my lips are still turning blue---it happened when I was talking, both in bed and standing. Does this mean anything? I underwent a lung perfusion scan which showed an abnormality on the left side.   What does this mean? They don't know if it was a blood clot since it did not start in the legs, but I am being treated with coumadin until they say otherwise. Is this dangerous if I don't need it?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  DoctorS replied 5 years ago.

DearCustomer

It sounds like you do have a blood clot in your lungs as the lung ventilation/perfusion scan showed an abnormality. This is dangerous and potentially life threatening because it means that you could experience subsequent clots that completely block off blood supply to your lungs. Being on coumadin is the appropriate treatment and the duration of this will need to be determined by your doctor depending on the cause of the blood clot. By the way, the clots often start in the legs but are not always found on the ultrasound studies of the legs (which is why your doctors aren't sure if it started in your legs). The risks of coumadin include increased bleeding risk, but the benefits in your case by far outweight the risks.

Here is a link with more information: http://www.uptodate.com/patients/content/topic.do?topicKey=~GpplS8wqq66Q3G

Please let me know if you have more questions.

DrS

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Thank you for responding so fast to my question. If I had not gone to the hospital because I did not feel well, could I have just dropped dead? Also, if they never find where the clot came from, how can more clots be prevented in the future? I think I will only be on coumadin for 8-12 weeks and then another scan will be taken. What will happen if it still shows an abnormality?

Expert:  DoctorS replied 5 years ago.

Dear blueeues1958,

Yes, pulmonary emboli are potentially fatal. The way to prevent future clots is to treat with coumadin for a certain amount of time depending on whether the cause is reversible or not. If the repeat scan shows abnormality, you will likely need to stay on coumadin for longer.

Please let me know if you have more questions.

DrS

DoctorS, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 984
Experience: MD, 30 years of medical practice
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