noun, plural: embolisms
(pathology) The occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus
An embolus is an occlusive material that travels through the bloodstream until it reaches a blood vessel, consequently blocking blood flow. Embolus may be in the form of an air bubble, a fat globule, or a fragment from a thrombus. Since it can block blood circulation it has to be removed and one way is by surgical means (see embolectomy).