A sudden sharp pain in your chest surprised you, and then you realized you couldn't take a deep breath without the pain getting worse. You begin to feel anxious, but you think you might just have a pulled muscle. After friends urge you to do so, you head to the hospital. They think you might be suffering from a pulmonary embolism.
A pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition. It has the potential to lead to a number of symptoms that are a sign that something is seriously wrong in your body. If you go to the hospital with these symptoms of a pulmonary embolism or call your physician and complain of them, the medical providers should take them seriously.
What are some of the symptoms of pulmonary embolisms that can't be ignored?
- Coughing up blood or foaming mucus
Unlike when you cough up mucus with a cold, coughing up foamy mucus is a sign that you could be suffering from a pulmonary embolism. This mucus is often accompanied by blood or will have a pink tint where blood has mixed with the foam. If you complain of coughing up mucus with blood or complain of foamy, pink mucus, the medical provider should work quickly to identify the cause.
- Rapid heart rate
There are many causes of rapid heart rates, but if yours starts seemingly out of nowhere, it's important to seek medical help immediately. This symptom overlaps with other serious conditions such as heart attacks, pneumonia and asthma attacks, so even if it is not an embolism that you're suffering from, there are other conditions that you could be affected by.
- Signs of shock
While shock can occur for a variety of reasons, if your body is struggling to pump blood or to receive oxygen where it's needed, it may begin to shut down. Signs of shock must be addressed immediately, since they signify a serious, potentially life-threatening condition.
A pulmonary embolism should be relatively easy to diagnose with the differential diagnosis process. If a medical provider doesn't take you seriously, it could mean suffering permanent injuries or dying from this condition's complications.