JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pulmonary embolism. Artwork of a large embolus (red, centre left) obstructing the pulmonary artery. Another smaller embolus (red, centre) is in an artery (purple) in the lung. The superior vena cava (blue) is at far left, with the aorta (red arch) to its right. The cartilage-banded trachea (windpipe, upper left) splits into the bronchi in the lung. The pulmonary artery normally carries deoxygenated blood from the heart (red, lower left) to the lungs. These emboli are abnormal blood clots that have broken off the wall of a vein in the leg or pelvis after forming in deep vein thrombosis. The large embolus may be fatal and so an emergency operation is vital.
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