A pulmonary embolism is when one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs is blocked, usually by a blood clot that has traveled to the lungs from the legs. It can be life-threatening and is one of the leading causes of death in the US and other developed countries.
Risk factors include:
If you think you might be having a pulmonary embolism, or at higher risk of developing one, talk to your doctor right away.
Treatment is typically a blood thinner called heparin, and in some emergency cases, thrombolytics are given to break up blood clots.
For prevention, compression socks can be effective in preventing blood clots from forming. Also, heparin can be given after delivery for high risk patients.