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Pulmonary Embolism - Definition, Pathophysiology, and Presentation

Duration: 17:40

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Jan 06 2023, 6:34 pm

Very informative.



Apr 15 2020, 1:28 pm

Exceptional presentation. User friendly and easy to follow.

In this lecture, Dr. Ana Crawford presents the definition, etiology, and pathophysiology of pulmonary emboli.

She describes various etiologies of pulmonary emboli while discussing their effects on gas exchange and hemodynamics as well as the ways in which pulmonary emboli can present clinically.

She discusses the pulmonary emboli resulting from:

  • Thrombus/blood clot
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Fat
  • Air

She outlines how an embolus will move from the lower systems and end up in the lungs.

Virchow's triad is presented:

  • Venous Stasis
  • Endothelial Injury
  • Hypercoagulable States

She discusses how deep venous thrombi (DVTs) become emboli, lodge in the lungs, and how they can disrupt the pulmonary perfusion and gaseous exchange in the lungs. She discusses how hypoxia is detected in such patients.

She discusses, if the pulmonary emboli increase shunt, or increase the dead space? 

V/Q mismatch, both physiological and pathological, is presented in the light of pulmonary emboli.

She discusses the risk factors for thrombosis:

  • Hereditary 
    • Protein C
    • Protein S
    • Antithrombin Deficiency
    • ETc
  • Acquired
    • Immobility
    • Recent Surgery
    • Malignance
    • Etc


She then discusses how the fat particles dislodge and result in fat embolism syndrome? And, the situations in which this can happen. 

Definition and presentation of the pulmonary embolism are discussed next. Labs for a massive or high-risk pulmonary embolism are reviewed.

Diagnostic scoring for a pulmonary embolism is discussed. Following scoring methods are presented:

  • Wells Score
  • Geneva Score
  • D-dimer Cutoff

Learning objectives of this video are the following: 

1. Definition of pulmonary embolism.

2. Pathophysiology.

3. Presentation in terms of:

  •  Timing
  •  Anatomy
  •  Hemodynamics
  •  Symptoms

4. Diagnosis Scoring.

Presented by Dr. Ana Crawford

Following answers are created by ChatGPT. Occasionally the answer may be harmful, incorrect, false, misleading, incomplete, or limited in knowledge of world. Please contact your doctor for all healthcare decisions. Also, double check the answer provided by the AI below.

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Ana Crawford M.D., M.Sc.

Ana Crawford M.D., M.Sc.

Clinical Associate Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine

Practices at Stanford Health Care Board certified in anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and with a masters in Global Health Science, Dr. Crawford founded the Division of Global Health Equity within the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford in 2011. She currently serves as the Director of Global Engagement Strategy and as the Global Health Equity fellowship director. With a passion for improving access to medical education and professional development as tools to improve the lives of diverse patients, Dr. Crawford serves on and chairs multiple committees at the local, national and international levels. With expertise in medical education and global perioperative care, she is a consultant and advisor to several international organizations including the WHO, Lancet Commission, EECC, and others. She is the creator and Editor-in-Chief of the Global Anesthesia and Critical Care Learning Resource Center ("the LRC"), an open-access online education platform and is the proud recipient of the 2021 Kevin Malott Humanitarian Service Award, for her work with the Pine Ridge Native American community in South Dakota during COVID-19.

Respiratory System

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