Updated May 12th, 2024 at 20:21 IST

What Is Pulmonary Embolism That Killed Avicii's Ex-girlfriend Emily Goldberg?

Avicii's ex-girlfriend Emily Goldberg died from pulmonary embolism. Let us understand what is pulmonary embolism and how to prevent it after diagnosis.

Emily Goldberg and Avicii | Image:Emily Goldberg/Instagram
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Avicii's ex-girlfriend Emily Goldberg died at the age of 34, six years after the DJ took his own life. Emily had dated Avicii from 2011 to 2014 and passed away in California, the Mail reports. She died from pulmonary embolism, a type of blood clot. Through this article, let us understand what is pulmonary embolism and how to prevent it after diagnosis.

Emily Goldberg | Image: Emily Goldberg/Instagram

 

What is pulmonary embolism?

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious medical condition characterised by the sudden blockage of one or more arteries in the lungs. These blockages occur when a blood clot, usually originating from the deep veins in the legs, travels through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in the arteries of the lungs.

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Causes of pulmonary embolism

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): The most common cause of pulmonary embolism is the formation of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis. These clots can dislodge and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

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Risk Factors: Several factors increase the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and, consequently, pulmonary embolism. These include prolonged immobility, such as during long flights or bed rest after surgery, as well as medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Additionally, certain medications, such as hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills, can increase the risk of blood clots.

Inherited Disorders: In some cases, pulmonary embolism may result from inherited disorders that affect blood clotting, such as factor V Leiden mutation or protein C and S deficiencies. These genetic abnormalities can predispose individuals to the formation of blood clots in the veins.

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Avicii and Emily | Image: Emily Goldberg/Instagram

 

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism

Shortness of Breath: One of the hallmark symptoms of pulmonary embolism is sudden and unexplained shortness of breath, which may worsen with exertion or deep breathing.

Chest Pain: Chest pain, often described as sharp or stabbing, may accompany pulmonary embolism. The pain may worsen with deep breathing, coughing, or movement.

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Coughing: Coughing up blood or bloody sputum is another common symptom of pulmonary embolism. This occurs when the blood clot damages the blood vessels in the lungs, leading to bleeding.

Other Symptoms: Additional symptoms of pulmonary embolism may include rapid heartbeat, dizziness or lightheadedness, sweating, and fainting.

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Diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary embolism

Diagnostic Tests: Diagnosis of pulmonary embolism typically involves a combination of imaging tests, such as computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA), ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scan, and Doppler ultrasound of the legs to detect blood clots.

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Anticoagulant Therapy: The primary treatment for pulmonary embolism is anticoagulant therapy, which involves the use of blood-thinning medications to prevent further clot formation and allow the body's natural clot-dissolving mechanisms to break down existing clots.

Emily Goldberg | Image: Emily Goldberg/Instagram

 

Thrombolytic Therapy: In severe cases of pulmonary embolism, thrombolytic therapy may be administered to dissolve blood clots more rapidly. This treatment carries a higher risk of bleeding and is typically reserved for patients with life-threatening complications.

Surgical Intervention: In rare cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove large blood clots from the arteries of the lungs. This procedure, known as pulmonary embolectomy, is reserved for patients who do not respond to medical therapy or are at high risk of complications.

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Prevention of pulmonary embolism

Preventing pulmonary embolism involves minimising the risk factors associated with blood clot formation. This includes staying active and avoiding prolonged periods of immobility, especially during long flights or bed rest after surgery. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, and managing underlying medical conditions such as heart disease and cancer can help reduce the risk of developing pulmonary embolism. 

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Published May 12th, 2024 at 20:21 IST