Home Health Care: A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the lung arteries, often caused by blood clots that originate in the leg and move to the lungs.
These blood clots can block blood from flowing to the lungs, making it a life threatening condition if not caught in time. A home health care provider can help to keep an eye on your senior for signs and symptoms.
Causes of a Pulmonary Embolism
The cause of most pulmonary embolisms originates in the deep veins in the leg when a blood clot forms. Blood clots are most often created from long periods of immobility. Laying horizontally or being in a sitting position for extended periods of time can increase the risk of blood clots. To lower these risks, it’s important to encourage your senior to get up and move frequently if they must be in one of these positions for a long period of time. As a 24-hour home care giver, you will be able to monitor your senior’s daily activities and ensure they get enough movement during the day.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolisms
Symptoms of pulmonary embolisms will vary depending on the size of the blood clot in the lung and your senior’s history of lung disease. Some of the most common symptoms are shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, inability to take a deep breath and coughing up blood.
Other symptoms you may notice in your senior if they have a pulmonary embolism include a fever, leg swelling, dizziness and abnormal sweating.
Home Health Care: What to Do Next
While a 24-hour home health care caregiver can offer support and care for your senior in the early stages of a pulmonary embolism, your senior should see a doctor if they have sudden extreme chest pain, shortness of breath, cough up blood, or if any of their symptoms worsen.
Pulmonary embolisms can be difficult for doctors to diagnose, so your senior may need a chest X-ray or MRI to see if there is any blockage in the lungs. A doctor might also order a blood test to determine how much oxygen is in the blood. If your senior’s oxygen levels are low, that might suggest a clot blocking oxygen flow from the lung.
Once your senior has been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, the doctor will prescribe a blood thinner or clot dissolver to reduce the blockage in the lung and prevent future clots from forming.
Preventing future pulmonary embolisms is imperative. Restricting immobility and ensuring your senior remains active is one of the best ways to prevent blood clots, as well as continuing to take any blood thinners prescribed by the doctor.
Home Health Care: Conclusion
Pulmonary embolisms can be deadly if not caught in time. But with quick action and proper attention, they can be taken care of quickly and easily.
If your senior is having health issues or mobility issues, consider Home Health Care to help your senior with everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and bathing. Call us today to see if 24-hour home care is right for your family!