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.


S. Brambilla, et al. Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Spinal Surgery. In
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