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The Dangers of a Blood Clot in Lung

blood clot in lung

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It might be that only people with vociferous appetite for vocabulary would know what ‘coagulation’ means, but for those of you who are a little more ordinary with your vocab it might be a term you’re unfamiliar with. You likely do know what a clot is, however, and we can keep it simple by saying coagulate means to thicken and becoming more solid. When it comes to blood clots, the blood’s ability to coagulate is definitely a good thing and not something where you’d wish it were otherwise. However, a blood clot in lung is cause for concern.

When you have a flesh wound, the blood’s coagulation abilities is what makes it so that you stop bleeding eventually. The issue is that sometimes blood clots form in the body without being in response to a bleeding wound, they can even be caused by broken bones and other instances where there’s no actual bleeding involved.

This is when they’re at their most dangerous, because if the come loose and start to float around the arteries of the body they can cause BIG TIME problem. A blood clot in lung (aka a pulmonary embolism) is arguably the worst of them because, quite simply, it has the potential to be fatal. Indeed, as far as you lungs are concerned a blood clot is about as unwelcome as can be.

And while we’re on the topic of lungs, there’s a lot to read into just how important – and interesting – these vital life-giving organs are within the body. Many of us may take breathing air in and out for granted, but perhaps after reading this you’ll attach a little more wonder to it as well as understand why a blood clot in lung really needs to be avoided.

What Causes Blood Clots in Lungs

To get right to the most important point here, a blood clot in lung can – in worst case scenarios – be a cause of premature death. We’ll get to why that is and how that works, but let’s start but looking at what causes blood clots in lungs. Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT as it’s commonly abbreviated, is the name for the condition where blood clots form in veins deep in the body.

But why would such a thing happen? Well, the most common reason is chronic inactivity. The human body was meant to move, and when it’s sedentary for far too long all sorts of health problems can arise. There’s nothing anyone can do to counter gravity, and when you’re inactive it means that gravity causes blood to stagnate in the lower areas of your body.

Blood clots can also result from certain injuries, with bone fractures and muscle tears being the most common ones. This is because the trauma of the injury can also lead to blood vessel damage, and in some cases the blood will clot in the vessel as it tries to repair itself. If that blood clot then breaks loose, and starts to travel towards an artery then there’s the potential for trouble.

The last of the big 3 risk factors for a blood clot in lungs is medical conditions. When we’re talking about what causes blood clot in lungs, and medical conditions in particular, the first and foremost one is obesity. After that we have:

  • Thrombocytosis – a fancy term for when have too many platelets in your blood, and the overabundance of them leads to clotting.
  • Atrial fibrillation – AKA irregular heartbeat, and when this condition is paired with wider blood vessels in certain people then the risk of blood clots is increased.
  • Arteriosclerosis – This refers to hardening of arteries. As the arteries harden, they become reduced in size and when this is paired with lower-than-normal blood pressure then the risk of blood clots is increased.

Amazing Lung Facts

The good news is that if you are in generally good health, aren’t severely overweight or lead an overly sedentary lifestyle, and have steady blood pressure then it’s unlikely you’re at risk of a blood clot. Whether one or all of these hallmarks of good health apply to you, one thing we can all agree on is that the lungs are amazing organs and deserve to be treated as well as possible accordingly!

Did you know that the right lung is larger that left lung in every human? It’s true, and the reason is because that’s needed to accommodate the heart. And we all exhale up to 17.5ml of water per hour, just by exhaling through our lungs. And as far as inhaling? The average human breathes in an average of 13 pints of air every minute.

But here’s what we imagine will be the most surprising lung fact of all – if an adult human’s lungs were opened and laid flat the surface area would be darn the size of a tennis court. Bet you didn’t know that!

Blood Clot in Lung Symptoms

Whether or not blood clot in lung symptoms are seen, and to what extent, is dependent on the size of the clot and where it is stuck in the lung. By far the most common symptom is shortness of breath, and with either a sudden or gradual onset.

Other blood clot in lung symptoms can include:

  • Chest pain, and possibly extending into your arm, neck, jaw, or shoulder
  • Irregular heartbeat or weak pulse
  • Light headedness
  • Clammy or bluish skin
  • Fainting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Spitting up blood

Effective Medications for Blood Clot in Lung

As is the case with so many potentially-serious health conditions, we’re fortunate that physicians are able to both detect the problem AND put patients on a course of medication that will likely return them to good health. Brilinta (Ticagrelor) is a platelet aggregation inhibitor, and it works very well to prevent platelets from sticking together and creating blood clots. Eliquis (Apixaban) is the one best suited for people who’s risk of blood clots is most related to atrial fibrillation.

Last but not least, Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is an excellent choice for deep vein thrombosis occurring for any reason.

These are only three of the most common medications used to prevent a blood clot in lung from forming and given the importance of those two expansive organs in your chest that’s a worthwhile aim if you’re at risk for a blood clot for whatever reason.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for your pet. See your veterinarian for medical advice and treatment for your pet if you have any concerns.


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