A pulmonary embolism occurs when the pulmonary artery is blocked. It is the most common cardiovascular disease in the United States. Every year 1 in 1,000 people are affected by pulmonary embolism. The block or the blood clot prevents the oxygen from getting to the tissue lungs making it very dangerous and life-threatening.


Sharp, stabbing pains in the chest may indicate pulmonary embolism. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:

Chest pain, a sharp, stabbing pain that might become worse when breathing in increased or irregular heartbeat dizziness difficulty catching breath, which may develop either suddenly or over time.



Treatments for embolism aim to

  • Stop the clot from growing
  • Prevent new clots from forming
  • Destroy or remove any existing clot
  • A first step in treating most embolisms is to treat shock and provide oxygen therapy.


A blood clot typically forms in the arm or leg, eventually managing to break free, traveling through the circulatory system.

A pulmonary embolism occurs when an embolus, usually a blood clot, blocks the blood flowing through an artery that feeds the lungs.

A blood clot may start in an arm or leg, known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

After that, it breaks free and travels through the circulatory system towards the lungs. There, it is too large to pass through the small vessels, so it forms a blockage.

This blockage stops blood from flowing into a part of the lung. This causes the affected section of the lung to die through lack of oxygen.

Rarely, a pulmonary embolism can result from an embolus that is formed from fat droplets, amniotic fluid, or some other particle that enters the bloodstream.

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LA Vascular Specialists
Beverly Hills

8500 Wilshire Blvd., #518, Beverly Hills, CA 90211



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