Pulmonary Embolism Treatments


Treatment depends on the size and severity of the clot. Emergency treatment and hospitalization may be needed.

Treatments include:


Options include:

  • Thrombolytic medicine to dissolve clots, for example:
    • Streptokinase
    • Urokinase
    • Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA)
  • Anticoagulant medicine, called blood thinners (eg, heparin , warfarin ), to prevent more clots from forming


In some cases when the blockage is very large, a type of surgery called embolectomy may be done to remove it.

Clot-Trapping Filter

If you have a repeated problem with blood clots, surgery may be done to place a filter in the main vein that leads from the legs to the heart and lungs. This filter traps clots before they can reach the lungs.

If you are diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, follow your doctor's instructions .

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2015 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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Pulmonary Embolism Guide

Alison Beaver

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