Learning Issue: Pulmonary Embolism-MH · Don’t Miss This: · Definition: A potentially fatal complication of thrombus formation within deep venous circulation. · Causes: Many substanaces can embolize to the pulmonary circulation cinluding: air (during neurosurgery, from central venous catheters), amniotic fluid (during active labor), fat (long bone fractures), foreign bodies (talc in injection drug users), parasite eggs (schistosomaiasis), septic emboli (acute infectious endocarditis), and tumor cells (renal cell carcinoma). The most common embolus is thrombosis, which may arise anywhere in the venous circulation or heart but most often originates in the deep veins of the lower extremities. · Risk Factors or Predisposing Factors: Pulmonary emboli will develop in 50%-60% of patients with proximal deep vein thrombosis (DVT). PE has same risk factors as thrombosis, which include: venous stasis, injury to vessel wall, and hypercoagulability. Venous stasis increases with immobility, hyperviscosity, and increased central venous pressures. Vessels may
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