(EKG) may be done to check the electrical activity of the heart.
Treatment depends on the size of the clot and the symptoms it is causing. Emergency treatment may be needed.
Medicine may be given to break up the clot. Blood thinners may be used to make it harder for new clots to form.
Some people may need surgery when medicine does not break up the clot or the clot is very large.
A filter may be needed in people who are not helped by other methods. It will be placed inside a large vein in the belly. The filter will catch blood clots that leave the lower body and trap them before they reach the lungs.
To lower the risk of blood clots that cause PE:
Break up long periods of sitting. Get up and walk every few hours.
People who have had a recent illness or surgery should begin to walk as soon as it is safe to do so.
Pulmonary embolism. Society for Vascular Surgery website. Available at: https://vascular.org/patient-resources/vascular-conditions/pulmonary-embolism. Accessed October 30, 2019.
Raja AS, Greenberg JO, et al. Evaluation of Patients with Suspected Acute Pulmonary Embolism: Best Practice Advice from the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Nov 3;163(9):701-711.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.