Skip to content

Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

Font Size

Pulmonary Embolism - Treatment Overview

Treatment of pulmonary embolism focuses on preventing future pulmonary embolism by using anticoagulant medicines. Anticoagulants prevent existing blood clots from growing larger and help prevent new ones from developing.

If symptoms are severe and life-threatening, immediate and sometimes aggressive treatment is needed. Aggressive treatment may include thrombolytic medicines, which can dissolve a blood clot quickly but also increase the risk of severe bleeding. Another option for life-threatening, large pulmonary embolism is to remove the clot. This is called an embolectomy. An embolectomy is done during a surgery or minimally invasive procedure.

Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems

Coronavirus

A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous. Some types of them are serious, though. More than 100 people have died from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), which first appeared in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and then in other countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Europe. In April 2014, the first American was hospitalized for MERS in Indiana. He had just returned from Saudi Arabia. People...

Read the Coronavirus article > >

Some people may also benefit from having a vena cava filter inserted into the large central vein of the body. This filter can help prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. This filter might be used if you cannot take an anticoagulant. Or it might be used if anticoagulants have not worked well enough to lower your risk for blood clots.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man coughing
    You may not even know you have it.
    blood clot
    Signs of this potentially fatal complication.
     
    man coughing
    When a cold becomes bronchitis.
    human lungs
    Causes behind painful breathing, fluid buildup.
     

    chest x-ray
    Slideshow
    Bronchitis Overview
    SLIDESHOW
     
    Copd Myth Fact Quiz
    QUIZ
    Energy Boosting Foods
    SLIDESHOW
     

    lungs
    Article
    smokestacks
    Article
     
    woman coughing
    Article
    Lung xray and caduceus
    Article