Continuing Professional Development: Understanding paramedic treatment and management of pulmonary embolism

OverviewPulmonary embolism (PE) is one of the most common preventable deaths in the UK. Causing occlusion of the pulmonary arteries, a PE is most often the result of the formation of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which ‘breaks free’ and travels to the lungs where it alters the normal ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) relationship, resulting in hypoxia, increased dead space and intrapulmonary shunting.This Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module will explore the pathophysiology, assessment and management of PE by paramedics, and explore the condition's main causes and treatment from the paramedic's perspective.Learning OutcomesAfter completing this module you should be able to:Provide a definition of pulmonary embolism (PE).Identify the common causes of PE.Identify the key steps in performing a respiratory assessment.Outline how the paramedic can treat and management a patient with a PE.

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