Pulmonary embolism (PE) happens when a blood clot forms within the veins and travels to the lungs blocking oxygen transfer to the blood and normal heart function. Blood naturally flows in the body in the veins back to the heart and then to the lungs through the pulmonary artery. When a clot is present, it blocks the normal flow of blood out of the heart leading to chest pain, shortness of breath, cyanosis-blue color, and possible failing heart and death.
Compression stockings and blood thinners can help prevent blood clots and should be prescribed by medical providers for patients deemed at risk. It is best to discuss options on screening and treatments with your primary care provider.