Pulmonary embolism is the more or less complete obstruction of a pulmonary artery, or a branch of this artery, most often by a blood clot. It is a medical emergency that can sometimes be fatal. Typically, the clot formed in a deep vein in the leg and traveled through the bloodstream to first reach the heart and then the pulmonary artery. In the vast majority of cases, a pulmonary embolism diagnosed and treated in time does not endanger the patient's life.
The severity of a pulmonary embolism depends on the degree of obstruction of the pulmonary artery, the patient's state of health (cardiac and respiratory status), and the time with which the diagnosis is made. When more than half the diameter of the pulmonary artery is blocked, it is called a “massive” pulmonary embolism which can lead to heart failure or even cardiac arrest.
The Hestia criteria are an aid in identifying patients with a pulmonary embolism that can be treated at home. A score of 0 allows the return home. Any other score requires hospitalization.