Coronavirus: ‘Wrong time to lift restrictions’ says Greenhalgh
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A pulmonary embolism is a blocked blood vessel in your lungs. According to the NHS : “It can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.” Though they can occur for numerous reasons, new research suggests there is a greater chance of a “bleeding event” such as deep vein thrombosis and blood clots in the lung, between two and six months after a Covid infection.
According to research from Sweden, people with severe Covid, and those infected during the first wave, had the highest risk of developing blood clots.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), found these to include a greater risk of deep vein thrombosis up to three months post-infection and of a blood clot in the lung up to six months later.
The findings also underlined the importance of getting vaccinated, showing the jab can protect from not only COVID-19 itself but also other associated risks.
Though blood clots can also occur after vaccination, according to a University of Oxford-led study, the risk is far smaller.
A blood clot in the lung can cause shortness or breath and pain (Image: Getty Images)
According to research from Sweden, people with severe Covid are most at risk. (Image: Getty Images)
What are the symptoms of a blood clot in the lung?
Detecting a blood clot forming in your lung can be difficult, as symptoms can. Vary greatly depending on how much of your lung is impacted or the size of the clot.
There are, however, some common symptoms associated. The NHS lists these as:
- Pain in the chest or upper back
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up blood
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The health service adds: “You may also have pain, redness and swelling in one of your legs (usually the calf).
“These are symptoms of a blood clot, also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).”
A pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening, and there are some symptoms which will require urgent treatment.
The NHS advises calling an ambulance or going straight to A&E if:
- you have severe difficulty breathing
- your heart is beating very fast
- someone has passed out
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How is a pulmonary embolism treated?
If your GP suspects you may have a blood clot in the lung, you will be sent to hospital for further tests and treatment.
Hospitals often give an injection of anticoagulant medicine which stops blood clots from getting bigger and prevents new ones from forming.
If tests confirm you have a pulmonary embolism, you’ll continue with anticoagulant injections for at least five days, according to the NHS.
This will be followed by a course of anticoagulant tablets for at least 3 months.
The good news is that many patens make a “full recovery” from a pulmonary embolism if it’s spotted and treated early.
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