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Fatal pulmonary embolism in a medical department. Clinic-pathological correlations and therapeutic deliberations



Fatal pulmonary embolism in a medical department. Clinic-pathological correlations and therapeutic deliberations



Ugeskrift for Laeger 143(31): 1956-1960



Of 284 patients diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, 183 died and 178 were submitted to autopsy. Data from medical and pathological case reports were thoroughly evaluated by 2 separate groups. In 95% of the patients, an authenticated fatal pulmonary embolism represented only a slight modification of life expectance, because of concomitant complicating, severe, terminal disease. This very poor clinical state of patients was reflected by the fact that in only 26 patients (15%) the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism was established during life. Of these patients 13 died within 5 h after onset of symptoms and 10 were treated with antithrombotic drugs. An increase in incidence of terminal diseases in the population of elderly, hospitalized patients apparently is indicated. Concepts concerning pulmonary embolism in terminal care patients should be changed.

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Accession: 068656937

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PMID: 7303215


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