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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Pulmonary Embolism

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Pulmonary Embolism [posted 8/13/98]
Question: Can severe malnutrition, such as repetitive periods of zero food intake lasting 6-15 days, cause a 36 old male with no history of any medical conditions to develop Pulmonary Embolisms?

Answer: Wouldn't be any clear relationship that I can see.

Pulmonary Embolism [posted 7/23/98]
Question: What is a pulmonary embolism? How does it occur?

Answer: A pulmonary embolism is a formed clot which migrates from your venous system to your lung. Since the lung is essentially a filter, the clot will become stuck in the lung. This effectively stops blood flow through part of the lung - the seriousness depending on the size and number of these clots. The clots generally come from the large veins of the leg from above the knee to the groin, but in about 10% of the time come from large pelvic veins. Clots can form below the knee and in the arms and migrate to the lung, but they are never large enough to compromise the lung function. Technically, these are emboli also, but generally we refer to the ones that are potentially life threatening. These clots occur for several factors: inactivity, a family history of clots, birth control pills, trauma - especially if followed by inactivity, obesity, compression of the veins for any reason, previous clots or scarring of the veins.

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