Patient Comments: Pulmonary Embolism (Blood Clot in the Lung) - Diagnosis

Describe the exams and tests you received that led to a diagnosis of a pulmonary embolism.

Comment from: David D, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 29

I suddenly had shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate. I called the ambulance and went to the local hospital. Upon entering I was put on a heart monitor, had an EKG, blood tests, and also a CT scan. The CT scan showed several large blood clots in my lungs (pulmonary embolism).

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Comment from: QATaxman, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I went to the emergency room (ER) on advice from my physician for severe thoracic back pain and shortness of breath. A CT of the abdomen with and without contrast was ordered. They determined at that point I had a PE (pulmonary embolism). My symptoms had been going on for about 3 months now. The doctor I had seen, not my normal physician, determined I had a muscle problem, prescribed a muscle relaxer and a steroid, not once but twice. The third time in, I finally saw my physician with a UTI (urinary tract infection). He called me the next day to see how I was feeling. I was not feeling any better, and the back pain was unbearable now with shortness of breath. This is when I finally went to the ER.

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Comment from: Posey, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 21

For several days, I noticed that I had difficulty climbing the stairs as my legs hurt and breathing was difficult. I am 81 and never had problems with climbing stairs or breathing. After a day I noticed that I was having difficulty breathing even while I was resting. I took myself to the clinic, and they immediately called the emergency room and informed them to see me immediately. A CAT scan revealed I had multiple blood clots in both lungs. The scan done on my legs did not show that I had DVT (deep vein thrombosis). I will be on Coumadin the rest of my life, as they have no idea why this pulmonary embolism might have happened, other than aging.

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Comment from: LuckyMeg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I had chest pain for about a week and it eased up. Then it came back again a few days later, along with difficulty in breathing. I went to the emergency room. My EKG was very off (more than its usual abnormality due to prior heart attack.) My D-dimer was negative. I was admitted to the hospital and cardiac enzymes were tested every 6 hours for the next day. They gave me oxygen and nitroglycerine and I felt better but was referred to my cardiologist. The chest pain did not get better while I was on nitro prophylactically so I was scheduled for a cardiac catheterization. My cardiologist was shocked at how good my heart looked and said there was something else going on. Within two days my leg was swollen and painful and I again went to the emergency room on my cardiologist's advice where they did ultrasounds of my veins and arteries and found DVT (deep vein thrombosis) in both major veins of my leg extending into my pelvis. It wasn't until this point they realized my prior chest pain and trouble breathing was a pulmonary embolism. I was immediately put on Lovenox injections, had an ilio-femoral thrombectomy and after a few days sent home on Xarelto, indefinitely. They suspect I have antiphospholipid antibodies based on preliminary tests but have to wait until I'm off anticoagulants to confirm. My hematologist has prolonged the treatment from the planned 6 months saying knowing what caused the clots is not as important as preventing more clots.

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Comment from: Macca, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I had a CT scan done and when I went to collect them the receptionist advised me to go straight to hospital as the radiologist had spoken to the doctor. I was admitted and stayed 1 night for pulmonary embolism.

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Comment from: Paige, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 26

I had chest pains after a hysterectomy, and it would not go away with pain medications, so I underwent a EKG, and CT scan, and the CT scan showed that I had a blood clot in my right lung. Now I take a blood thinner each night as a treatment to try and prevent any new one's, and dissolve the one in my right lung.

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Patient Comments

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Pulmonary Embolism - Venous Doppler Question: Did you have a venous doppler study, or ultrasound? Please share your experience.
Pulmonary Embolism - Thrombolytic Therapy Question: Did you or someone you know receive thrombolytic therapy for a pulmonary embolism? Please share your story.
Pulmonary Embolism - Experience Question: Please share your experience with pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism - Symptoms Question: Please share your experience with symptoms of pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism - Treatment Question: What treatments did you undergo for pulmonary embolism?
Pulmonary Embolism - Risk Factors Question: Do you have risk factors for pulmonary embolism?

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