How is an acute pulmonary embolism treated?

Anup K. Singh, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
Acute pulmonary embolism is treated with blood thinning medications, says Anup Singh, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital. Watch this video to learn about treatment options for acute pulmonary embolism.
Acute pulmonary emboli are treated with medication to thin the blood or dissolve the clot. For patients at risk for repeat pulmonary emboli, a filter may be placed in the inferior vena cava, the large vein carrying de-oxygenated blood from the lower portion of the body to the heart. In rare cases, medical management of acute pulmonary emboli fails to adequately treat these clots, or a patient may have severe hemodynamic instability from a very large embolus. In these cases, a surgeon can remove the offending clot and restore proper blood flow to the lungs.

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