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What is an embolism?

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An embolism refers to a condition where foreign bodies such as air bubbles or blood clots block blood flow in arteries, according to NHS Choices. There are different types of embolism, including brain embolisms, amniotic embolisms, retinal embolisms, air embolisms and cholesterol embolisms, notes MNT.

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A brain embolism occurs when a clot prevents blood flow to the brain, and it can lead to ischemic stroke. Amniotic embolisms happen when amniotic fluid during pregnancy develops clots and travels to the brain causing pulmonary amniotic embolism, and a retinal embolism blocks the flow of blood to the eye's retina and can lead to sudden blindness. An air embolism exists when air bubbles form clots in arteries, blocking blood flow. Cholesterol embolisms transpire when plaques in blood vessels break free and result in blockage, states MNT.

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