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Dad in hospital with a Pulmonary Embolism.. worried

(6 Posts)
squashie34 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:36:54

Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is the right place to post but just looking for some advice really. On Wednesday my dad was rushed into hospital with chest pains and not being able to breathe; after a chest ct he has been diagnosed with a 'sizeable' PE (blood clot on his lung) which has travelled from his leg - he has had a swollen leg for a couple of weeks which we told him repeatedly to get seen but that's another story.

Obviously with the covid restrictions we aren't able to go up and see him - it was just terrifying letting the ambulance take him on his own not knowing what was going to happen (we worried it was a heart attack initially), and to be honest the information from the hospital has been shocking- I call for ages and only get minimum info in response when they do answer. From what I know he is on injections to thin the blood, oxygen for breathing and had an ultrasound on his heart yesterday as apparently the location of the clot on his lung is very near his heart. He hasn't had these results yet.

I had a message off him about an hour ago to say he's had a bad night- he woke up around 3am with terrible chest pain moving to the left and they called the doctor who gave him morphine and apparently said that it's bits of of the clot breaking off that's causing the pain.

What does this mean?! Is this a good thing and what they hope happens, ie that bits of the clot break off and that's how it disappears? I assumed the blood thinning medication caused it to just dissolve? I'm petrified that bits breaking off mean they're going to travel and cause more damage and possibly a heart attack?

I'm 32 weeks pregnant and trying my hardest not to worry but I have barely ate or slept since Wednesday through worry and trying to get anything from the hospital Is awful - I know my dad sugar coats things too to try and protect me. Has anyone been through this and could maybe shed some light please? Thanks so much.

OP’s posts: |
squashie34 Sun 07-Jun-20 13:55:02

Just bumping incase anyone can offer any advice 🙂

OP’s posts: |
Vlcos157 Sun 07-Jun-20 22:26:35

My dad passed away in Dec with a PE but he didn't make it to hospital. It travelled to his heart very fast
I would say your dad is in the best place and hopefully being looked after well. No advice but just wanted to send you love. Hope your dad is better soon x

TheVanguardSix Sun 07-Jun-20 22:39:52

Oh you poor thing, OP.
Ask if they will test him for COVID (it's looking more like a blood vessel disease rather than solely a respiratory one- more on that in a moment).

I was in your shoes 16 years ago. My mum too was hospitalised because of a sizable PE. She's still going and never had a recurrence but is on lifelong blood thinners as a result. Your dad is in the hospital, the best place. If anything goes wrong, they're right there, ready to treat him. He'll be on an anticoagulant in hospital and the clot will be breaking up. Also, they'll be looking at his respiratory levels, his heart rate, everything (and at night, they can see all the machines he's hooked up to at their station, so even if they're not right by his bedside, they'll be constantly monitoring him). They'll have a good eye on him and the great news is, he caught this in time. It's difficult and he won't be fighting fit when he gets out of hospital, but he will survive and he will recover. flowers

Vinosaurus Mon 08-Jun-20 09:34:34

I'm so sorry, you must be incredibly worried and not being able to visit him can't be nice.

I had a massive PE with right ventricular hypertrophy in 2018 (caused by a post operative DVT) ... and am an ex nurse. His heart will most likely have been affected due to the clot blocking the flow of blood, causing it to back up. Mine was a saddle PE which means it was sitting over and in both branches of the pulmonary arteries and the effect on my heart was significant.

Blood thinners do not break the clot down but prevent more clots forming whilst giving your body a chance to break down the current clot(s). I had a lot of pain (more then when I actually had the PE) whilst the clot was breaking down so that's not unusual, and it's a sign that the body is doing what it's supposed to do.

They will be monitoring him incredibly closely and any indication of his body not coping, such as hemodynamic instability, and they can intervene with a clot busting drug (thrombolytics) to immediately beak the clot down - you might wonder why these aren't administered on diagnosis, they aren't used until there is no other alternative as there is a real risk of collateral damage in the form of internal bleeding/stroke.

He'll most likely have investigations into why he developed a DVT. If it was provoked (i.e. recent injury/surgery, long haul flight etc.) then long term treatment with blood thinners might not be necessary (although he'll be on some form of thinner such as Warfarin or Rivaroxaban for some months), otherwise I would imagine longer term treatment will be necessary.

Try to think of it this way - he has survived the PE "occuring" (for want of a better word) and is now on the right treatment and in a place where action can be taken immediately if needed.

Happy to answer (to the best of my ability/limitations!) anything else.

concernedforthefuture Mon 08-Jun-20 09:45:40

My DDad had a large PE and they even delayed treatment as he had a terminal illness so they wanted to give him time to decide whether treating the PE would be in his best interests. He recovered from the PE fairly quickly and I hope your dad does too.

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