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A 45-year-old member asked:

when pulmonary embolism happens in the lungs, what makes it so fatal?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bruce J. Stringer
Radiology 47 years experience
Several things: A massive pulmonary embolus will essentially block most of the blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs, preventing blood from getting oxygenated while putting a huge strain on the right ventricle. Since blood is then blocked from getting to the left side of the heart, systemic blood pressure severely drops along with oxygen delivery and things rapidly go down the tubes.
Dr. Fernando Torres
Pulmonology 27 years experience
Heart stops: The problem with pulmonary emboli is that the blood clot obstructs the blood flow through the lungs. So the right side of the heart tries to pump blood through an obstructed pulmonary artery and it cannot. Thus the right heart of the heart stops and the patient's blood pressure drops and the patient collapses and dies. Pulmonary emboli are really dangerous.

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A 37-year-old member asked:

When pulmonary embolism happens in the lungs, what is actually going on?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Nestor Del rosario
Addiction Medicine 34 years experience
PE: Clot traveled from somewhere to the right atrium and if able to the right ventricle, outside to the arteries of the lungs and cause blockade of flow as they go to the arteries wherein the size of the clot can't go through.
A 47-year-old member asked:

What is the difference between septic embolisms in the lungs and a pulmonary embolism?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Anthony Perez-tamayo
Thoracic Surgery 31 years experience
Bacteria: Emboli are stuff (most commonly clots) that move from somewhere to somewhere else down a blood vessel, in this case from clots in veins of the body, down to the heart, and through its right side to the lungs, where they can block blood flow to these organs. Septic emboli are stuff that also has bacteria inside, and therefore can cause further infection in the lungs, and even greater damage.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016
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