An illustration of a blockage in an artery in the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is most often caused by a deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot (thrombus) in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis, which may break apart, creating an embolus which migrates to the lungs. A small embolus may not present any symptoms, and can dissolve in the lungs over time. A large embolus can result in sudden death if blood cannot reach a large portion of the lung, resulting in cyanosis, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations and collapse.
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