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What Is a Saddle Embolus?

 

A:

It is a type of pulmonary embolism. In its basic form, it is a blood clot that occurs in the lungs. There are many reasons why a patient would develop a blood clot and many reasons why a patient would develop a blood clot in the lungs.

I have been involved in cases throughout my career involving patients who have developed a saddle embolus resulting in death. Often, this type of clot is fatal and is only detected during an autopsy. An autopsy is a detailed and thorough physical exam of a person who has died. The type of doctor who performs this physical exam is known as a pathologist.

There are patients who may be at risk for developing blood clots. Often times, a family member will call me after their spouse has died and question why they did not receive anticoagulant medicine known as blood thinners. Or maybe the blood thinners they got were insufficient. There are different types of blood thinners available to try and prevent blood clots from occurring. The more commonly known ones include heparin, Lovenox and warfarin.

Learn what happened when hospital staff failed to put a patient back on his blood thinners after his surgery...watch the quick video below...