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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Pulmonary embolism?

08/15/2007

Question:

My Uncle was taken into hospital as he fainted and was experiencing chest pains and pain from the back passage. He was told that he had a blood clot in his colon and given Fragmin subcutaneously.

He has been in hospital for 4 days now and was given a scan today. He says the Doctor told him the clot had gone, however he only has partial hearing and doesn`t seem to know what is going on.

He was put on oxygen today as he was experiencing chest pain again and is being given a CT scan tomorrow. When my Auntie asked the nurse what the results of the scan were she knew nothing and we are unsure of what is going on.

My uncle is in his late 30`s. As a first year student nurse I am aware that the thrombus could have moved into his lungs causing chest pain and am aware of the risks. Do you have any advice? we don`t know what to do for the best and are all so worried. Thank you so much.

Sorry I forgot to mention that my Uncle is a long distance lorry driver and I am therefore worried that he may have a DVT. Will they have taken this into consideration and done a protocol for it?

Answer:

What you describe appears to be that your uncle was diagnosed as having a blood clot, and that he may have developed a pulmonary embolus, which is a blood clot to the lung. They sometimes start (the clot) in the leg and then break off and go to the lung. You describe a clot that started in the “colon”, but that does not make sense, as that is not very common. The treatment that you describe (Fragmin) is a blood thinner that will treat both blood clots in the legs and the lungs equally well.

It is difficult to say much else without more detailed information and without examining your uncle and his records. Your aunt really has to ask these same questions to the doctor so she gets a better idea of what is going on with her husband. I hope this helps out a bit.

For more information:

Go to the Bleeding and Clotting Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University