A single lump called an embolus can obstruct blood flow as it moves through the body. An embolism, an embolic event, occurs when an embolus occludes a blood vessel.
A few of the many distinct types of emboli that can cause various kinds of embolisms are the following;
- Blood clots
- Cholesterol plaque
- Fat globules
- Gas bubbles
- Foreign bodies
Types of embolism
According to the embolic substance, multiple types of embolism can be distinguished;
- A deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, also known as an embolus, commonly develops in the leg and lodges in a pulmonary artery. Many emboli are degraded by the body and disappear independently, but a major pulmonary embolism can be fatal.
- When fat or bone marrow particles enter the bloodstream, they may obstruct blood vessels in the same manner that an air bubble or blood clot might.
- The embolization of air bubbles is an air embolism. Scuba divers who surface too quickly risk developing air embolisms, blood bubbles that can obstruct artery blood flow.
- It happens when body-produced infection-related particles enter the bloodstream and obstruct blood arteries.
- The embolization of tiny tissue fragments is known as tissue embolism.
Foreign body embolism:
- A foreign body embolism is an embolism of small foreign items like talc.
Amniotic fluid embolism:
An allergic reaction is brought on by amniotic fluid embolism, which is an embolism of;
- Amniotic fluid
- Fetal cells
- Other debris enters the mother’s bloodstream through the placental bed of the uterus.
All emboli are not created from clots of blood. During pregnancy, amniotic fluid fills the womb to protect the developing fetus. Pulmonary amniotic embolism can develop when amniotic fluid embolizes and enters the mother’s lungs.
When a significant blood clot (thrombus) becomes lodged where the major pulmonary artery forms a Y shape to enter each lung, it is known as a saddle pulmonary embolism. The term “saddle clot” refers to how the clot sits atop both branch arteries.
A saddle PE typically is a more enormous, unstable blood clot. It may raise the possibility that it will fragment and develop blockages in the right and left pulmonary arteries or other areas of the lungs.
A sudden or acute pulmonary embolism is a saddle PE. It is a rare occurrence, making up about 2.6% to 4.4% of all instances of acute pulmonary embolism.
The main pulmonary artery transports blood that has lost oxygen from the heart to the lungs, where it is given back oxygen.
A blockage obstructs blood flow to both lungs at the point where the major pulmonary artery divides. As a result, there is insufficient blood flow throughout the body. It also causes blood pressure to drop or become unstable. The brain, heart, and kidneys are just a few of the organs that suffer damage from insufficient blood flow.
A saddle pulmonary embolism can result in heart failure and rapid death without immediate medical attention.
Treatment of saddle pulmonary embolism
Saddle PE is handled in the same manner as other PE situations. The purpose of therapy is to stop the clot from growing or producing additional clots. Options for treatment include;
- Injection of an anticoagulant or blood thinner
- Oral blood-thinning drug
- Thrombolytics (clot-dissolving drug)
- Using a catheter to remove the clot from your blood vessels
Home care or prevention of saddle PE
People who are susceptible to blood clots can take the following actions to lower their risk;
- Being active physically
- Keeping a healthy weight
- Putting on relaxed, comfortable attire
- Moving as soon as it is safe to do so after an injury or surgery
- Putting on compression socks
- Consuming aspirin
The following exercises can be performed by anyone who must sit for longer than 4 hours at a time to assist in maintaining circulation in the legs;
- Every one to two hours, standing and moving about
- Leg muscles being tense and relaxed
- The heels remain on the floor while the toes are raised and lowered.
- Maintaining the toes on the ground while lifting and lowering the heels.
Patients with a low cardiopulmonary reserve and a chronic pulmonary hypertension diagnosis require a small segmental or subsegmental pulmonary embolism. They could indicate silent deep venous thrombosis, putting patients at higher risk for severe emboli.
Arterial blood gas
The common signs and symptoms that may be seen in patients with pulmonary embolism of arterial blood gas are the following;
- An elevated alveolar-arterial gradient
- Respiratory alkalosis
However, It is not disregarded just because the arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis did not produce the expected results. Results from arterial blood gas analyses cannot be relied upon to help manage patients suspected of pulmonary embolism.