An embolism isa condition where the blood flow in an artery is blocked by a foreign body, such as a blood clot or an air bubble .

To function properly, the body's tissues and organs need oxygen, which is transported around the body in the bloodstream. If the blood supply to a major organ such as the brain, heart or lungs is blocked, the organ will lose some or all of its function.

Two of the most serious conditions caused by an embolism are:

  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke where the supply of blood to the brain is interrupted or cut off
  • pulmonary embolisms when a foreign body blocks the artery transporting blood to the lungs
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 4 Jan 2017