Advanced Treatment for Pulmonary Embolism
The specialists who make up the Temple PERT assess and categorize patients into risk-stratified groups. Once risk is assessed, treatment is determined based on the patient’s level of risk and can include:
- Full-dose tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) via peripheral vein
- Catheter-directed thrombolysis
- Suction thrombectomy
- Low-dose tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) via peripheral vein (clot buster)
- Right ventricular support devices
- Surgical thrombectomy
- Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter
- Intravenous heparin (blood thinner)
- Injectable forms of low molecular weight heparin
- Oral anticoagulants
High-risk pulmonary embolism is most often treated with clot bursting medications. These medications can be administered at different sites of the body, depending on where the clot is located. The site where clot bursting medication is delivered, as well as the dosage of the medication, are very important, and not every patient is a good candidate for these medications. For these reasons, it is important for patients to be examined and treated by a team of experts, who can carefully evaluate each patient to determine and deliver the most effective treatment. If a patient has a very high risk of bleeding, surgical removal of clots may be necessary. This is done by Temple’s highly skilled cardiovascular surgical specialists, who strive to use minimally invasive methods whenever possible, reducing scarring, blood loss and recovery time.
A Standardized Multidisciplinary Approach to Care
One of the only lung centers in the region with a dedicated PERT, the Temple Lung Center can coordinate care among the various services involved in the management and care of pulmonary embolism, develop protocols for the full range of available therapies, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. Being a founding member of the national Pulmonary Embolism Response Team Consortium, Temple’s PERT is on the leading edge of this new paradigm of care for pulmonary embolism.