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What are the Signs of a Blood Clot in the Lung?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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The symptoms of a blood clot in the lung may depend on how large the blood clot is and the level to which it is affecting the patient’s lung. In many cases, a blood clot causes shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing. In some cases, a person with this condition may also suffer from wheezing and leg swelling as well as excessive sweating. Some people may also experience an irregular heartbeat or dizziness as a result of a blood clot in the lung. Unfortunately, a blood clot in the lung can be life threatening, and a person should seek emergency medical attention if he thinks he has one.

One of the most common symptoms of a blood clot in the lung is shortness of breath. In many cases, this symptom develops suddenly rather than becoming evident over time. Usually, this shortness of breath is not activity induced. It may occur while a person is physically active as well as when he is resting.

A person who has a blood clot in his lung may also develop chest pain in relation to it. In many cases, the pain that develops in the chest is severe, and it may become intense enough that a person believes he is suffering from a heart attack. The pain caused by a blood clot is usually present even when a person is resting. Most patients notice, however, that it does get worse when they engage in physical activity. Some people also find that taking deep breaths and coughing cause the pain to worsen; even such things as eating and bending over may increase the pain.

Often, a blood clot in the lung also causes a cough that produces blood. Sometimes it produces blood mixed with mucus. The blood can be bright red or appear rust-like in coloring. In some cases, a person may even see bubbles in the blood because air mixes in with it while he is coughing.

In addition to the primary symptoms of a blood clot in the lung, a person may also experience a range of other signs. For example, he may develop wheezing, sweat more than normal, or have an irregular heartbeat. Some people may also develop swelling in the lower extremities, clammy skin, pallor, and dizziness in relation to a blood clot in the lung.

A blood clot in the lung can be fatal. For this reason, people who have these symptoms are advised to seek emergency medical attention. Medical attention is usually critical, even if a person has only one or two of the common symptoms.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
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Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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