A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a blood clot elsewhere in the body travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. PEs block blood flow to the lungs, decrease the amount of oxygen in the blood, and affect a person’s ability to breathe. PEs can be life-threatening.
Signs and symptoms of PE may include:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid or irregular heart rate
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.