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Pulmonary Embolism Response Team

Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT)

A pulmonary embolism (PE) is caused by a blood clot that travels from the legs to the lungs. This is very serious, so it is critical to get evaluated quickly to determine the most appropriate care for you. At Augusta University Health, our team is in place to respond quickly and provide comprehensive care.

Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT)

A pulmonary embolism (PE) is caused by a blood clot that travels from the legs to the lungs. This is very serious, so it is critical to get evaluated quickly to determine the most appropriate care for you. At Augusta University Health, our team is in place to respond quickly and provide comprehensive care.

About Us

The Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) at AU Health was established in 2019, recognizing the benefits of having a quick-response group of healthcare providers ready to assess and care for patients with PE. We are a multidisciplinary team who work to identify the best ways to diagnose and treat patients with PE.

Our team is comprised of providers from:

  • Cardiology
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Hematology
  • Pulmonology
  • Radiology
  • Pharmacy

Anyone can develop blood clots, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk. These include:

  • Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, cancer, and clotting disorders
  • Recent surgery or hospitalization
  • Sitting and lying down for long periods of time
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Taking hormone replacement or birth control
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history

If you are feeling any of these symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention. If you are already in the hospital, you want to alert a nurse right away. 

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism can include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath (most common)
  • Light-headed
  • Chest pain or back pain that comes on suddenly and feels worse when you take a deep breath or cough
  • Cough or coughing up blood

Over the years, AU Health has been a leader in providing PE patients with advanced treatments including:

  • Anticoagulants (blood thinners)
  • Thrombolytics (clot busters), which dissolve and break up clots
  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis (CDT), a minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is inserted to dissolve the clot in the lungs
  • Mechanical thrombectomy, a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter is inserted to remove clots from the lungs
  • Surgical pulmonary embolectomy, an open heart surgical procedure to remove the clot.

Improve blood flow in your lungs when sitting or lying for long periods of time.

  • Get up and walk every 2-3 hours if possible
  • Do seated leg stretches
    • Raise and lower heels while keeping toes on the floor
    • Raise and lower toes while keeping heels on the floor
    • Tighten and release leg muscles
  • Talk to your doctor if you are at risk for PE

Additional Information

Find out more about pulmonary embolism from these resources:

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Dunlap, Stephanie H., DO

Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiology

Meeks, Emily, DNP, FNP

Nurse Practitioner

Sharma, Gyanendra Kumar, MD

Cardiovascular Disease

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