P.E. is an occlusion of a pulmonary artery(ies) by a blood clot.
A fragment of a thrombus usually located in the deep leg veins
breaks off and travels to the lung.
- Large or small blood clots may occlude major
or minor branches of the pulmonary arterial
- Large emboli may cause acute cor pulmonale.
- Ten percent of emboli cause wedge-shaped
hemorrhagic infarctions which extend to the peripheral lung. Refer to Figures
15-5 and 15-6 in your textbook.
- If the cardiovascular function is adequate, the bronchial circulation will
maintain tissue viability resulting in hemorrhage but no infarct.
- Varies from no consequence to instantaneous death.
- Respiratory compromise: dyspnea, hemoptysis, chest pain.
- Hemodynamic compromise: acute cor pulmonale.