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Thread: Lung clots in pregnancy

  1. #1

    Default Lung clots in pregnancy

    I am 18 weeks pregnant and in my first 6 weeks experienced mild chest pain and shortness of breath. Fast forward to now and I occasionally get the chest pain bak it is a dull ache almost like a pain in the breast, sometimes it feels like I have a hot water bottle under my breast as it is quite a hot sensation. I only get shortness of breath when I exert myself which for me is even just walking at a faster than usual pace as I am unfit and overweight. I went to the emergeny department and the dr said although blood pressure, oxygen and ECG are fine there are atypical symptoms of clots and that what I was experiencing wasn't normal so although the test pose a risk to bub she thought they were needed. She asked me to return the following day for an ultrasound of my legs and a chest xray. She said if the ultrasound showed clots she would treat me for clots without doing the xray. However if there were no signs on the ultrasound I would still need the xray. I return and have the ultrasound which showed no signs of clots and I was seem by a different dr who said no further tests needed she thought it was muscular.
    My question is if it was a clot would i be showing more serious signs? Has anyone had a clot were you signs like mine or worse? Will I get more severe signs if it is a clot? I am very very scared. Has anyone had a CT scan while pregnant and what was the outcome.
    Thanks in advance.


  2. #2

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    Hi Hayden’sMummy

    Hun you must be so scared. What a shame that your doctors did not fully explain things to you. If it was a clot in your lung then your oxygen levels would not be normal. Also your pulse and breathing rate would be up. Clots that appear in your lungs will usually come from your legs. An ultrasound of your legs is probably the best way of detecting clots. They probably did other tests such as squeezing your calf and moving your foot around. The pain you describe “a dull ache” does sound like soft tissue damage rather than a clot. So my guess is that you do not have a clot.

  3. #3

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    Thanks Alan. So if it was a clot would I have worsening signs before something awful happened. I am just so scared of what happens if it goes undetected. Are the tests for clots dangerous in pregnany. I almost want it done to rule anything out. I have a little boy and need to think of him.

  4. #4

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    To answer your question I think I need to explain a little about clots.
    A clot in your lung will usually first form in your lower leg. A small piece of this clot breaks off and travels through your veins and onto your lung. In your lungs your veins get progressively smaller and smaller until there is not enough room for the clot to continue and that is where it stays blocking off the blood supply. So it depends on how big the clot is to how far it can travel into your lungs. The smaller the clot the further it will travel into your lungs. A very small clot will only block very small veins and thus only a very small amount of blood. A large clot is the scary one. It blocks off quite a large amount of blood from a large area of your lungs. In your lungs your blood picks up oxygen and puts carbon dioxide out. So if the blood is blocked then it cannot pick up oxygen. Therefore the more blood is blocked the less oxygen your blood can pick up.

    So on to your question.
    Once a clot has got into your lungs things are very unlikely to get worse. A very small clot would probably not be noticed. A little larger clot would cause some shortness of breath and lower oxygen levels in your blood. Therefore your breathing rate and pulse would be faster. A large clot would cause great difficulty with breathing. Now if this large clot breaks up and travels further into your lung your breathing would become easier.

    Probably the best test for clots is to do an ultrasound on your legs and as you know this is quite safe during pregnancy. Should an X-ray bee needed then they would put a lead blanket over your tummy to protect your baby.

  5. #5

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    Thanks Alan. I have had a leg ultrasound and they could not see evidene although my calf pain was a long time ago like several months so would they still see signs in the legs now. If the ultrasound was clear is there still a chance of a clot. If my symptoms dont worsen but stay the same and there was a clot is it dangerous or will my symptoms worsen before anything serious was to happen.

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    In theory yes there is still chance of a clot. But as I said, reading your post I do not believe that you have a clot. But if you do have a clot it is more likely that nothing will change. The clot will stay where it is and your symptoms will stay as they are. I suppose that there is a small chance that the clot could move and cause your symptoms to worsen but I have never seen this happen. I would not expect this clot to move into a position where things become serious.

  7. #7

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    Just wondering Alan if you can advise me as you seem to know a fair bit about this. I am a teacher and was reading a book today and got very breathless, I sometimes feel like my heart is thumping especially after rushing around and I am still having occassional chest pain not sever but definitely some pain there.

  8. #8

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    Without being able to examine you I cannot tell you what the problem is. However any unexplained chest pain especially when associated with shortness of breath should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possable.

  9. #9

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    Went back to hospital tonight and they said still on examination they can disregard clots as oxygen levels are 100%, blood pressure is fine and previous ecgs are fine. He said anemia could cause shortness of breath and my local dr has said whilst my iron levels are within normal range they are low normal so I am on iron tablets. He said palpitations can be normal in pregnancy and the shortness of breath is unexplained however there is no shortness of breath indicated by my oxygen levels.

  10. #10

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    OK so my next thought would be an anxiety attack

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    Yeh they thought maybe that too would that keep reoccuring. What would make you think that, at least I know that is not life threatening.

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    It could keep reoccurring, it could also not happen again. It would be a good idea to try to find some relaxation techniques that work for you. You could also look for what is triggering these attacks.

    The reason I think that it is anxiety is because your symptoms point to a couple of potential problems including anxiety but your test rule out all of these problems apart from anxiety.

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