A pulmonary embolism is a serious illness and is often caused by a thrombosis in the leg.

To understand what a pulmonary embolism is, let’s take a short excursion into human anatomy.

Our starting point is the heart. From here, oxygen-poor blood is pumped into the lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen, among other things.

This now oxygen-rich blood is led from the lungs back to the heart, from where it is then pumped into the body and supplies it with oxygen. You can find a detailed description of the function of the heart in another article.

A large vessel, the pulmonary artery, leads from the heart to both lungs. This large vessel branches out into smaller vessels so that the entire lung can be supplied with blood and is involved in oxygen uptake.

If a blood clot breaks loose somewhere in the body, is washed away with the blood and blocks one of these vessels completely or partially, the lung tissue behind it will no longer be supplied with blood or will no longer be sufficiently supplied with blood and will no longer be able to do its job.

This blockage of a pulmonary vessel is called pulmonary embolism.

The effects of a pulmonary embolism depend on the size of the vessel affected.