- Tips to remember:
- PE is considered the most feared complication of DVT.
- A pulmonary artery, or several depending on how proximal is the embolus located, is occluded. This increases pressure upward to the heart, which needs to pump harder to keep the flow.
- Hypoxic lungs, intending to adapt, produce substances that constrict pulmonary vessels (lungs “believe” there’s no pressure, so they try to increase pressure) but this only adds increased pressures even more to an already failing right ventricle.
- A vicious cycle starts and the heart can’t longer compensate. Then it finally stops. There’s no fibrillation, so its an unshockable stop. Sometimes there will be prior symptoms like heavy dyspnea and syncope, but sometimes there is sudden cardiac death, specially when PE is MASSIVE (embolus occludes the pulmonary trunk).
- Reversible cause of cardiac arrest means you can get ROSC but you need to resolve the primary cause: You need to treat PE.
Thank you for stopping by the Plague Doctor’s blog. If you like these illustrations and the blog please leave a comment and tell me what you think. You opinion is of most importance. Tell your friends about it and visit us at facebook, twitter, instagram or tumblr. Download the illustrations for free and print it. A3 should be fine for you to put it up your wall and review anytime you like. Thank you!
-The Plague Doctor