What is the treatment for pulmonary embolism?
- The best treatment for a pulmonary embolus is prevention. Minimizing the risk of deep vein thrombosis is key in preventing a potentially fatal illness.
- The initial decision is whether the patient requires hospitalization. Recent studies suggest that those patients with a small pulmonary embolus, who are hemodynamically stable (normal vital signs) and who can be compliant with treatment, may be treated at home with close outpatient follow-up. Patients who are stable have normal vital signs and show no evidence of right heart strain on blood tests, EKG and CT.
- Patients with abnoraml or unstable vital signs need to be admitted to the hospital for treatment. Those who have difficulty understanding or administering their medications, have unstable social situations may also need to be observed.