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What is the treatment for a pulmonary embolism?

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Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may give you a drug called a thrombolytic to dissolve the clot. These medicines can save your life, but they can also cause bleeding that's hard to stop. You'll have to be in the hospital, and the staff will watch you carefully. For some serious cases, a specialist may need to do surgery to break up and remove the clot. If your symptoms aren't life-threatening, or if using a thrombolytic would be too dangerous, your doctor will give you medication that interrupts the clotting process or stops platelets in your blood from sticking together. They don't break down the clot, but they'll keep it from getting bigger while your body works on dissolving it. Afterward, you'll probably take a blood thinner pill for at least three months.

SOURCES:

Medline Plus: "Pulmonary Embolism."

CDC: "Diagnosis of DVT and PE," "Treatments of DVT and PE," "Facts," "Data & Statistics."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "How is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?"

Medscape: "Throbolytic Therapy for Pulmonary Embolism."

American Society of Hematology: "Antithrombotic Therapy."

American Heart Association. , April 26, 2011. Circulation

Reviewed by Louise Chang on January 15, 2018

SOURCES:

Medline Plus: "Pulmonary Embolism."

CDC: "Diagnosis of DVT and PE," "Treatments of DVT and PE," "Facts," "Data & Statistics."

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Deep Vein Thrombosis."

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "How is Deep Vein Thrombosis Treated?"

Medscape: "Throbolytic Therapy for Pulmonary Embolism."

American Society of Hematology: "Antithrombotic Therapy."

American Heart Association. , April 26, 2011. Circulation

Reviewed by Louise Chang on January 15, 2018

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How can you avoid a pulmonary embolism?

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