Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism:
Specific treatment will be determined by your physician based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Your signs and symptoms
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment options for pulmonary embolism include:
An important aspect of treatment of pulmonary embolism is prophylactic (preventative) treatment to prevent formation of additional embolisms.
Prevention of pulmonary embolism:
Because pulmonary embolism is caused by a clot formed elsewhere in the body (generally in the legs), and because it is often difficult to detect presence of a venous clot prior to the onset of complications such as a pulmonary embolism, the prevention of these clots is necessary in the prevention of PE.
In order to prevent pulmonary embolism, the only effective way is to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Prophylactic treatment to prevent DVT includes non-invasive mechanical measures.
Mechanical measures to prevent DVT include:
- Compression stockings (elastic stockings that squeeze or compress the veins and prevent blood from flowing backward)
- Pneumatic compression devices (sleeves on the legs that are connected to a machine that provides alternating pressure on the legs)
- Getting up and moving as soon as possible after surgery or illness, as movement can help to prevent clots from forming by stimulating blood circulation
- Geting up and moving around during long airplane or car trips.
Medication: Anticoagulants are often given prophylactically to prevent DVT.
Many patients remain at risk for development of DVT for a period of time after they are either discharged from the hospital or transferred to a different type of care facility. It is important that prophylactic treatment for DVT continue until the risk for DVT development has been resolved.