Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

This is a clog in an artery in your lung. It can happen suddenly, even in a healthy person. It’s a serious medical condition that can be fatal.

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Causes

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a tiny piece of debris travels through your bloodstream and gets
stuck in an artery in your lung. In many cases, the debris is part of a blood clot that originally forms in a vein in your leg. That type of clot is called “deep vein thrombosis.” But a pulmonary embolism can also be caused by other things. An air bubble. A piece of a tumor. A loose bit of marrow from a broken bone. Any of these can travel through your blood to your lungs and cause a blockage.

Symptoms

Because a pulmonary embolism happens suddenly, there aren’t usually warning signs. Some people may have a sore or swollen leg if the clot is related to deep vein thrombosis, but other people have no early symptoms. A pulmonary embolism may begin with breathing problems. It may be hard for you to
breathe, and you may start coughing. You may cough up blood. You may feel anxious, sweaty and
light-headed. Your chest may hurt, and you may have an irregular heartbeat.

Treatment

Some pulmonary embolisms can be treated with medicines to thin your blood. If your symptoms are life threatening, you may need other options. Your healthcare provider can create a care plan that is right for your needs.

Pulmonary Hypertension (PH)

This is high blood pressure inside your pulmonary arteries. Those are the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your lungs. With this condition, your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your lungs. This is bad for your heart. It can cause serious health problems.

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Causes

Pulmonary hypertension happens when your pulmonary arteries become hard and narrow, or because they are damaged or blocked in some way. In many cases, we don’t know the cause. But there are things that can affect these arteries. Pulmonary hypertension may be linked to a heart defect, congestive heart failure and to other diseases and conditions. It may also be linked to a medicine you have taken.

Symptoms

At first, you may not notice any symptoms. But as it gets worse, it can cause shortness of breath,
coughing and dizziness. You may feel tired. Your chest may hurt, and your heart may beat faster than
normal. You may have swelling in your abdomen, legs and ankles.

Treatment

There is no cure for for pulmonary hypertension. But it can be managed. You may benefit from medications and a healthier lifestyle. You may benefit from oxygen therapy. If another condition is
causing your pulmonary hypertension, getting treatment for that may help. Your healthcare provider can create a plan that is right for you.

Pulmonary Stenosis (Pulmonary Valve Disease)

This condition is a deformation of the heart’s pulmonary valve that reduces the amount of blood that can flow to the lungs for reoxygenation. It can be mild or severe. When present at birth, it often occurs along with other abnormalities of the heart.

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Causes

In most cases, this condition is present at birth as a result of a defect in development during gestation. But it can also develop as a result of conditions such as maternal rubella infection or rheumatic fever, which can damage the heart.

Symptoms (Mild Defect)

The symptoms of pulmonary stenosis depend on the severity of the valve defect. A mild defect may result in no symptoms for some people. In others, the only sign may be a heart murmur. But the
condition can worsen over time, and if it becomes more severe, the patient may exhibit other symptoms.

Symptoms (Severe Defect)

A more severe defect may result in cyanosis (a bluish discoloration of the skin), shortness of
breath, fatigue, fainting and heart palpitations. In babies with a severe defect, these symptoms may
begin just after the baby is born or within a few days of the birth.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the age and condition of the patient and the severity of the stenosis. In
mild cases, treatment may not be needed. If treatment is required, a catheter procedure or surgical procedure may be needed to repair or replace the abnormal valve.