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Pulmonary Embolism

Get the facts on Pulmonary Embolism treatment, diagnosis, staging, causes, types, symptoms. Information and current news about clinical trials and trial-related data, Pulmonary Embolism prevention, screening, research, statistics and other Pulmonary Embolism related topics. We answer all your qestions about Pulmonary Embolism.

Question: What are symptoms of a pulmonary embolism? Hi. A couple of years ago I went to the doctors about a cough I've always had. They did blood work and a chest X-Ray but found nothing. Now recently I found out that my mothers father died of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 33. What I'm wondering is if this cough I have is related to a pulmonary embolism. Also, is a pulmonary embolism genetic?

Answer: The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include (in rough order of prevalence) pleuritic chest pain (pain worst in breathing in), shortness of breath, fever, fast heart rate, cough with/without blood. Large pulmonary emboli can result in low blood pressure and the attendant symptoms - dizziness, blackouts, loss of consciousness, etc. A cough without any other of the above symptoms is quite unlikely to be due to a pulmonary embolus. The tendency to form blood clots (and hence having a higher risk of embolus) can indeed be genetic - there are blood tests to screen for some of the more common conditions, but having a normal test doesn't mean that you are not at increased risk, particularly given your family history. Aspirin is a cheap drug that may be beneficial in lowering your risk of a pulmonary embolus - but I would hasten to add that there is no solid trial evidence for its effectiveness in this context.

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