Illustration of a pulmonary embolism in the lungs

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a potentially life-threatening condition in which blood flow to the lungs is blocked by clot. PE, a type of venous thromboembolism, is usually caused by deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot that partially or completely blocks blood flow through a vein deep in the body, particularly the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis.

More About This Condition

PE occurs when blood clot breaks loose from a deep vein in the body, travels through the bloodstream, and lodges in an artery in the lungs. If left untreated, PE can cause heart attack, shock, stroke, or death. PE can also develop directly in the small blood vessels of the lungs, even if there are no clots in the arms or legs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This overview is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Be sure to talk with your doctor for a complete discussion of this condition as well as the benefits and risks of any treatment options.


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