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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for pulmonary embolism

My 88 1/2 year old father was diagnosed about 3 weeks ago with a pulmonary embolism. He was on coumadin, (sp?), for about 3-4 years then went off of it in late January/early February, and, even with this diagnosis, does not want to return to it. He lives in a wonderful assisted living community, does not smoke and is not over weight at all. Fully aware that all situations are different, is there any kind of forecast you would be willing to share as far as what to expect as far as his quality of life and life expectancy? Thank you!
Wed, 6 Jan 2016
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Pulmonologist 's  Response
Thanks for your question on Health Care Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Pulmonary embolism is common in old age due to atherosclerosis and stiffening of arteries.
Severity, life expectancy, prognosis etc depends on
1. Size of embolism (massive embolism can cause sudden death).
2. Involvement of pulmonary artery. If main Pulmonary artery is involved then prognosis is poor. But if distal, smaller arteries are involved then prognosis is good and hence life expectancy is more.
3. Severity of pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary embolism (PE) almost always cause Pulmonary hypertension (PH). So if PH is severe then prognosis is poor.
So please let me know these details, so that I can guide you more about life expectancy in your father's case.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wishing good health to your father. Thanks.
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