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A thrombus occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein and stays there. If the clot detaches from the wall and travels to another part of the body, it becomes an embolus. A pulmonary embolus is a clot that traveled from elsewhere in the body and is now blocking an artery in the lung. Pulmonary embolism is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening, especially if the clot is large or if there is more than one blockage.

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1. Common Symptoms

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism vary depending on the size of the clot, how much lung tissue is affected, and whether the individual has other heart or lung conditions. Signs include sudden shortness of breath that worsens with exertion, significant chest pain, and a cough that may produce blood-tinged secretions. That said, half of all people with a pulmonary embolism have no symptoms at all.

Signs Chest Pain RunPhoto / Getty Images
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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.