Health Tip: What's a Pulmonary Embolism?

A dangerous blood clot that travels to the lungs

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(HealthDay News) -- A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot travels from another area of the body, often the leg, to the lung.

The clot settles in the lung artery and causes a blockage that may lead to serious damage to the lungs or other organs. Pulmonary embolisms often are fatal.

The U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says there are approximately 600,000 people diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms each year -- of which about 60,000 cases are fatal. People most prone to fatal pulmonary embolisms have conditions that require long periods of bedrest.

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