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An embolism is the sudden blockage of an artery by matter from a distant source. In practice this is most commonly blood clot which has broken off from a thrombus elsewhere in the body - thromboembolism; however, embolic material can be anything that can enter the circulation.

An embolus, the material that produces embolism, may be:

  • thrombus
  • fat
  • air
  • amniotic fluid
  • foreign body

The treatment of various forms of embolism in the acute situation is detailed in the submenu.

Last reviewed 01/2018