Pulmonary Embolism: A Serious Medical Emergency


Pulmonary Embolism: A Serious Medical Emergency

Blood clots in any part of the body can be life-threatening. Pulmonary embolism is a common cardiovascular disease caused due to blood clots in the pulmonary artery. The clot creates a blockage, restricting the blood supply to the lungs. Pulmonary embolisation may lead to threatening conditions if not treated at the right time. Early detection of PE helps provide timely treatment for improved outcomes.

Pulmonary embolisation, or PE, is a common disease that affects around 2.5 lakhs per year in India. It is possible to reduce the consequences of the illness with adequate treatments. Appropriate facilities and timely diagnosis can ensure proper treatment depending on the medical conditions. Patients may obtain pulmonary embolism treatment with pocket-friendly health insurance. Most health insurance companies cover the cost of PE in India, but it is essential to understand the disease as well as the coverage before finalising the health insurance policy.  

What is Pulmonary Embolism? 

The word embolism means stopper. Pulmonary embolism is a type of blood clot that prevents oxygen flow to the lungs. The blood clot may occur in any part of the body that restricts blood circulation in lung vessels. If not detected and eliminated at the right time, PE may result in life-threatening issues.

A pulmonary embolism is an immediate emergency situation because it restricts the blood flow. The blockage affects the other organs of the body, the lungs. The disease also results in reducing the oxygen level in the patients. It is thus essential to understand the embolism to avoid permanent lung damage.

What are the Types of Pulmonary Embolism?

Pulmonary embolism is a disease caused due to blood clots in any part of the body. PE may range from low or moderate to high. The symptoms, risks, and treatment may vary from patient to patient. It is thus essential to identify different types of pulmonary embolism.


Acute PE is a sudden pulmonary embolism. The symptoms of this disease include cough, chest pain, and dyspnea. Acute PE leads to immediate heat strain. Such issues need immediate treatment. In such cases, clot busters and blood thinners are appropriate medications suggested by most doctors.


The subacute PE is slow in development and difficult to diagnose. This PE has symptoms of dyspnea, chest pain, and coughing up blood. These symptoms occur within 2 to 12 weeks.


Chronic PE or chronic thromboembolic hypertension is a rare condition of pulmonary embolism. The disease leads to high blood pressure. It is possible to eliminate the issue with appropriate diagnosis and treatment. 

Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms

The most common symptom of pulmonary embolism is shortness of breath. It is essential to identify the early symptoms of the disease. Patients may visit the doctor as soon as the early symptoms of PE occur to avoid any emergencies. The pulmonary embolism symptoms are as follows:

1. Shortness of Breath: The shortness of breath may occur anytime while resting or working. The breathing issues may worsen with physical activities. Visit a doctor in case of such emergencies.

2. Sudden Fainting: The other symptom of pulmonary embolism may include fainting. The symptoms may include sudden drops in blood pressure and heart rate.

3. Chest Pain: Patients suffering from PE may also complain of sudden chest pain. The blockage causes acute and sharp pain while breathing.

It is advised to consult the respective doctor to obtain immediate treatment without any delay in any of the above symptoms. The PE symptoms may vary from patient to patient depending upon their lung conditions or their overall medical health. 

Other PE Symptoms

The blood clot lung symptoms may also depend on the size of the cloth and the effect on the lungs. Other than the obvious symptoms, patients affected with pulmonary embolism may also observe some casual symptoms:

  • Bloody cough
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Swelling
  • Leg pain, etc.

Pulmonary Embolism Causes 

One of the major causes of pulmonary embolism is deep vein thrombosis. The blood clot in the leg or arm blocks the blood in the artery. The PE disturbs the complete circulatory system, which directly affects the lung section. The lungs start dying due to a lack of oxygen, which may lead to adverse consequences. 

Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis and Treatment 

The symptoms of pulmonary embolism may vary from patient to patient. In most cases, the early sign of PE is shortness of breath and chest pain. In some cases, the signs may be mild to non-specific. The adverse effects of PE may also result in sudden death. It is thus essential to identify and diagnose the issues immediately. Consult a doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis of the pulmonary embolism to obtain the right treatment without any delay.

The pulmonary embolism diagnosis includes analysing the complete health condition of the patient. Depending upon the health conditions, the doctor may advise some of the regular tests to diagnose the disease. The tests are as below:

  1. Chest X-ray
  2. Electrocardiography (ECG)
  3. Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA)
  4. Pulmonary angiography
  5. Ventilation/perfusion scan (VQ)
  6. Duplex venous ultrasound
  7. D-dimer test
  8. Magnetic resonance pulmonary angiography (MRPA)
  9. Venography. 

The treatment highly depends on the results of tests conducted during the diagnosis of PE. The main aim of the treatment is to eradicate and stop any blood clots to ensure proper blood flow to the lungs. Different treatments are offered depending on the patient's condition. Some of the treatments are:

1. Catheter-directed Methods: This dedicated pulmonary embolism treatment uses a catheter to suck out the clot in the pulmonary artery. These methods help in clot removal.

2. Open Surgery: Doctors may suggest surgery in emergencies where minimally invasive methods are unavailable.

3. Medications: Proper medication at the right stage can work wonders for PE elimination. A doctor may suggest blood thinners, anticoagulants, thrombolytics, or clot dissolvers to improve PE conditions.  

Risk Factors for Pulmonary Embolism

Anyone may suffer from pulmonary embolism, but certain factors can make it easy for you to get PE:

  1. Family history of embolism
  2. History of stroke
  3. Obesity
  4. Previous history of clot
  5. The long period of inactivity
  6. Damaged blood vessels
  7. Cancer
  8. Excessive estrogen supplement intake
  9. Smoking

Concluding Lines

A pulmonary embolism is an emergency that may result in complete lung damage if left untreated. It is essential to identify the early symptoms to obtain timely treatments before any delay. An expert pulmonary embolism pathophysiology doctor can help you with immediate medication and the required treatment. 

Emergency treatments may not fit well in everyone’s pocket. It is always a good idea to have health insurance so that you have adequate coverage in such situations. PE is a common disease, and the risk for the same can increase with age. It is thus advised to opt for health insurance with adequate coverage so that  one can easily mitigate the stress of cost associated with the treatment.

>> Read More: All You Need to Know About Blood Clots


The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.


+91 verified
Please enter a valid mobile number
Please enter a valid Full Name
I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions
Please select terms and conditions
Get updates on WhatsApp

Articles By Category

Health Insurance Articles
Family Family
Senior Citizens Senior Citizens
Maternity Maternity
Surgery Surgery
Heart Heart
Tax & Investments Tax & Investments
Lifestyle Lifestyle
Awareness Days Awareness Days
Child Care Child Care
Money Saving Tips Money Saving Tips
Festive Days Festive Days
Covid-19 Covid-19
Travel Insurance Articles
International International
Student Student
Travel Tips Travel Tips
Visa Visa
Passport Passport
Insurance Guide
Health Health
Travel Travel
Reach out to us
Whatsapp Chat 8860402452



Chat with Us

Please Select Chat Option ×
Buy New policy To explore and buy a new policy
Existing policy enquiry for assistance with your existing policy