Having survived a second Pulmonary Embolism in as many years I wanted to share some information.
- Deaths from Pulmonary Embolism are the leading form of accidental death for hospitalized patients, and the second most common cause of unexpected death in the general population.
- Over 200,000 deaths will occur in the U.S. this year as a result of Pulmonary Embolisms.
- The most common cause of Pulmonary Embolisms are Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
- Approximately one in twenty people develop DVT during their lifetime.
- Approximately 60,000 hospitalizations for DVT will occur in the U.S. this year. Pulmonary embolism occurs when blood clots (emboli) become lodged in a lung artery, blocking blood flow to lung tissue. Blood clots often originate in the legs.
Embolisms are treated with Warfarin. It is commonly called a blood thinner but really is an anti-coagulant. Treatment is for 6-12 months. A second embolism will put you on Warfarin for life.
Long flights and long drives can cause clots (DVT) although they aren’t the only cause. Pulmonary embolism can be caused by air bubbles, fat droplets, or even clumps of parasites or tumor cells that obstruct the pulmonary vessels.
The next time you are heading out for a trip in the RV don’t drive for 5 hours straight. Stop every couple of hours and walk around for 10 minutes. Take the dog out and around. Park at the far end of the rest area so you have a longer walk. Stop and smell the roses.