A pulmonary embolism is a clot that travels through your veins and becomes lodged in your lung. The clot obstructs blood flow into the lungs. This can cause death and should be treated as an emergency.
Most pulmonary emboli result from a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein in the body. Most clots develop in the leg or pelvis.
DVT and pulmonary embolism are usually treated with anticoagulation. However, some patients cannot take anticoagulation. In those cases, a vena cava filter may be placed.
Vena cava filters are tiny nets that prevent emboli (blood clots) from traveling from your lower extremities to your lungs. Vena cava filters are inserted into the inferior vena cava, a large vein in your abdomen that carries blood from your lower extremities to the heart and lungs.