SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pulmonary embolism. The lower pulmonary arteries, on either side of the heart (lower centre) have become blocked with abnormal blood clots (thrombi), causing pulmonary emboli. Small emboli may cause shortness of breath, dizziness and chest pain. Larger clots can be fatal, as the blood is quickly starved of oxygen. Thrombolytic drugs can be used to break up a thrombus, and anticoagulant drugs may help prevent the formation of others. If a thrombus is large, it may have to be surgically removed.
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