HYDERABAD: Forty-five-year-old Srinivas (name changed) never knew what had hit him. He was doing his morning exercise when he suddenly started experiencing fatigue and had trouble finishing his regular dose of exercise.
He thought it was just tiredness and did not bother to see a doctor. It was a bad decision and could have cost his life. He was admitted to the ICCU of MaxCure Hospital and was diagnosed with ‘pulmonary embolism’ (blood clots in lungs).
“It would be surprising to know how often a pulmonary embolism is missed. Even in this case the preliminary examinations and vitals along with ECG and ECHO were almost normal. Upon digging deeper, CT Angiography of his lung vessels revealed threatening large clots. He was immediately shifted to the emergency ward and was given novel IV clot-lysing drug. The patient had a prompt recovery and we advised him to take oral blood thinners namely Dabigatran. Any more delay would have cost his life,” says Dr MSS Mukherjee, interventional cardiologist.
In most cases, pulmonary embolism is a complication of a medical condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in which a blood clot forms deep in the veins of the lower legs, thighs or pelvis. Although there is no single or simple cause, doctors say that increase in pollution can be one of the major reasons. Obesity, sitting in the same position and working for hours are cited as other reasons.
“Increase in pollution (particulate matter), obesity and stationary nature of today’s jobs are resulting in the frequent incidence of blood clots in veins, especially the legs. Blood clots formed in the veins can travel towards the heart and can cause a life-threatening condition. Newer drugs and drug delivery methods have improved the prognosis but, in some cases, patients need to use drugs for lifetime,” he says.
Dr R Balaji, cardiologist at MaxCure, explains about another case of DVT which he diagnosed. “A 30-year-old woman with no risk factors suddenly started experiencing severe leg pain. The woman, who was perfectly normal, was unable to walk.”
The doctors say that brisk walking at least for 45 minutes a day, a two-minute walk breaks between work hours and change in food habits can reduce the chances of blood clotting in the veins.