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R Makaza
R Makaza, Doctor
Category: Health
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Experience:  Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)with Honours in Surgery. 7 years experience.
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a 52-yeatr-old man suffers a pulmonary embolism that originated

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a 52-yeatr-old man suffers a pulmonary embolism that originated as a blod clot in his right leg. describe this condition and how it develops. specially, trace the pathway of the blood clot from the leg to the lungs.
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Hi there

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of the pulmonary artery or one of its branches, usually occurring when a deep vein thrombus (blood clot from a vein) becomes dislodged from its site of formation eg the leg and travels to the arterial blood supply of one of the lungs. This process is termed thromboembolism.

Common symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain on inspiration, and palpitations. Clinical signs include low blood oxygen saturation (hypoxia), rapid breathing (tachypnea), and rapid heart rate (tachycardia). Severe cases of untreated PE can lead to collapse, circulatory instability, and sudden death.

Diagnosis is based on these clinical findings in combination with laboratory tests and imaging studies. While the gold standard for diagnosis is the finding of a clot on pulmonary angiography, CT pulmonary angiography is the most commonly used imaging modality today.

Treatment is typically with anticoagulant medication, including heparin and warfarin which act by dissolving the clot.

Pathway of travel of a clot from the leg to the lung is as follows:

The clot starts from the deep veins of the leg to the femoral vein up to the iliac vein to the inferior vena cava to the right artrium of the heart to the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery in the lung.


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Thank you.

Acknowledgement:Wells PS, Hirsh J, Anderson DR, Lensing AW, Foster G, Kearon C, Weitz J, D'Ovidio R, Cogo A, Prandoni P (1995). "Accuracy of clinical assessment of deep-vein thrombosis". Lancet 345 (8961): 1326–30. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(95)92535-X
R Makaza, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 151
Experience: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB)with Honours in Surgery. 7 years experience.
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