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Posted Date: 11/9/2017

Pulmonary embolisms: What you should know

pulmonary embolism surgery

As many as 900,000 Americans will be affected by a pulmonary embolism each year, with estimates suggesting that 60,000 to 100,000 cases will be fatal.*

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage (a blood clot, which formed and traveled from elsewhere in the body) in one of the pulmonary arteries, preventing blood flow to the lungs. A life-threatening condition, prompt medical intervention is necessary to reduce the risk of death and/or complications.

McLaren Macomb is the first hospital in Macomb County to create a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) for immediate treatment.

No screening tools exist to confirm the formation of a blood clot, but there are several risk factors and symptoms to consider that can help prevent the potentially devastating effects of a pulmonary embolism.

Shortness of breath
Chest pains
Cough producing blood
Leg pain
Swollen, clammy, discolored skin
Excessive sweating
Rapid, irregular heartbeat

Risk factors
Family history
Heart disease
Cancer diagnosis
Recent surgery
Prolonged immobility (bed rest, long trips)

To learn more about cardiovascular care at McLaren Macomb, visit

*According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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