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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Shortness of Breath in Adults

It is important to consider whether you are at risk of pulmonary emboli. When intermittent shortness of breath is caused by pulmonary emboli, additional symptoms are often present. You may have chest pain that hurts more with deep breaths, a swollen leg, palpitations or lightheadedness.

People at higher than average risk for pulmonary emboli have one or more of the following:

  • a prior history of blood clots in the leg (DVT) or a pulmonary embolus

  • active cancer other than skin cancer

  • recent major surgery or major traumatic injury

  • prolonged bed rest

  • on medication, such as female hormones for birth control or menopausal symptoms.

Do you have any of the additional symptoms or risk factors for pulmonary emboli?

Yes, I do.

No, none of these apply to me.

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