What's the difference between pulmonary embolism and a blood clot?

In the most simple terms, they are the same thing. An embolism is the sudden blocking of a blood vessel. It can be caused by a bubble of air, blood clot, or piece of fat.

Pulmonary embolism is blockage of an artery to the lungs. It can be a blood clot that has broken off from the leg and traveled to the lungs. A blood clot that forms in the arms ar legs is called a deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

Doctors try to anticipate blood clots. Prevention and early detection are the keys to avoiding death from pulmonary embolism.

Reference: 

S. Brambilla, et al. Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Spinal Surgery. In
European Spine Journal. February 2004. Vol. 13. No. 1. Pp. 1-8.

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