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178 fatal cases of pulmonary embolism in a medical department

178 fatal cases of pulmonary embolism in a medical department

Acta Medica Scandinavica 209(5): 351-356

The diagnosis of pulmonary embolism was established during a 6-yr period in 284 patients. Of the 183 patients who died, 178 were autopsied. A retrospective study was performed on the autopsy-verified fatal cases to correlate their clinical state to relevant postmortem findings. Two groups made thorough, independent evaluations of data from the medical and pathological records. In 95% of the patients, a confirmed fatal pulmonary embolism constituted only a slight modification of life expectancy, because of concomitant complicating, severe, terminal disease. Reflecting this poor clinical state, only 26 patients (15%) had a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism premortally and of these patients, 13 died within 5 h after onset of symptoms and 10 were treated with antithrombotic drugs. An increase in the incidence of terminal diseases in the population of elderly hospitalized patients is indicated. The concept of fatal pulmonary embolism may be changed into an agonal incident in a terminal-care medical patient.

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Accession: 004532667

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 7246271

DOI: 10.1111/j.0954-6820.1981.tb11606.x

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