Embolism is the clogging up of an artery by means of a small clot of blood or a fragment of calcareous matter from the heart, fat globules, hydatids or bacteria, which are carried by the current of blood to the point where embolism occurs. Thrombosis is a clot formed at the point where it is found. When any blood-vessel is completely closed by embolism or thrombosis, the part to which the blood is distributed, if not supplied with blood in some other way, suffers for want of nutrition. The brain, spleen, kidneys, lungs, and liver are most likely to be affected by embolism. A year or two ago we had under our care a patient in whom embolism of the large artery of the arm had occurred, the result of which was complete extinction of the pulse of that arm. As the patient subsequently died from a tumor in the chest, opportunity was afforded for a post-mortem examination. The obstruction was found at the upper part of the arm, the channel from that point downward being wholly obliterated.

The Treatment of Embolism And Thrombosis

It is important that persons who have clots in any large blood-vessels in consequence of an extensive injury or a surgical operation, should keep very quiet until the clots become thoroughly organized or permanently fixed in their location so as to prevent the danger of disengaging fragments and producing embolism thereby. Special symptoms arising from embolism or thrombosis should be treated according to the indications in each case.