Pulmonary embolism: causes and symptoms

Pulmonary embolism: causes and symptoms

CDU politician Philipp Mißfelder dies of pulmonary embolism at the age of 35
The CDU member of the Bundestag, Philipp Missfeld, is dead. The politician died at the age of 35 of a sudden from a pulmonary embolism at night on Monday. A pulmonary embolism is usually triggered by a blood clot that developed in the leg and then migrated to the lungs.

Politicians died unexpectedly from pulmonary embolism
The CDU member of the Bundestag, Philipp Mißfelder, died on Monday night of a pulmonary embolism, completely unexpectedly. As the dpa news agency reports, the 35-year-old foreign politician leaves behind his wife and two small children. Union leader Volker Kauder said in Berlin: “We are dismayed, stunned and sad. (…) The CDU / CSU parliamentary group loses one of its most prominent foreign politicians and I personally lose a friend who accompanied me on many of my trips. ”

Missfelder made a healthy impression a few days ago
A few days ago, Missfelder looked healthy when he was interviewed on CNN while traveling to London. In most cases, the cause of pulmonary embolism is a blood clot (thrombus) that developed in the leg, then loosened and migrated to the lungs. Undetected thrombosis quickly becomes a life-threatening condition.

Depending on the size, the dangerous plug can clog small or large pulmonary arteries and thus separate part of the lungs from the bloodstream. Pulmonary embolism can also result from a broken bone diving accident.

First symptoms of thrombosis
Indications of thrombosis can include symptoms such as swollen ankles or plump legs, calf pain and a reddish or bluish discoloration of the skin. However, according to health experts, the signs are often not clear, which is why those affected often do not notice anything at first. Persistent back pain can also be associated with thrombosis. In the acute case of pulmonary embolism, shortness of breath or suffocation can occur, or the circulation can collapse. Thrombosis can be diagnosed using a blood test and a special ultrasound examination of the leg and pelvic veins. Treatment is usually initially carried out in the hospital with blood-thinning medication.

Impending pulmonary embolism in thrombosis
Because if part of the clot comes off in one of the deep leg and pelvic veins, it is transported to the lungs with the bloodstream via the heart. Here the clot closes vital veins for breathing and there is life-threatening pulmonary embolism, according to the DGA. Pulmonary embolism is the third most common fatal cardiovascular disease in Germany after a heart attack and stroke. The main risk factor for thrombosis is age, says DGA expert Holger Lawall. From the age of 60, the likelihood of thrombosis increases significantly. In addition, people with varicose veins, lung or heart disease, smokers and overweight people have an increased risk of thrombosis. The risk of thrombosis is also increased in the case of a lack of exercise, such as after a long period of bed rest. This also applies to people who have had surgery recently. Last but not least, hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or the birth control pill, would also result in increased blood clotting and thus an increased risk of thrombosis.

100,000 deaths from thrombosis annually
"In Germany alone, around 100,000 people die each year from a vascular occlusion due to thrombotic diseases," reports the DGA on the occasion of the campaign day for the elucidation and prevention of vascular diseases. Across Europe, over 500,000 deaths are reported annually. "This is more than traffic accidents, AIDS, breast and prostate cancer combined," said the DGA. This year's campaign is intended to provide doctors and the general public with a wide range of information on thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (VTE) "in order to raise public awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of this disease."

"35 is way too early"
"In our thoughts we are with his wife and two young children," said Kauder. Missfeld was said to have been a staunch friend of Israel. Kauder explained: “He was committed to transatlantic relations with great commitment. He was also a proven expert on the situation in Eastern Europe and Russia. He also had excellent contacts in Asia. ”Missfeld, born on August 25, 1979 in Gelsenkirchen, joined the Junge Union in 1993 and then the CDU in 1995. From 2002 to 2014, he was Federal President of the Young Union and most recently foreign policy spokesman for the Union faction in the Bundestag. Opposition politicians such as the Green MP Volker Beck were also shocked. His party colleague Jürgen Trittin praised Missfelder as an uncomfortable and lateral-thinking foreign politician. And left-wing MP Stefan Liebich tweeted: "35 is way too early." (Ad)

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Video: What is a Pulmonary Embolism?