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Arch Surg. 1997 Aug;132(8):862-6; discussion 866-7.

Timing of the occurrence of pulmonary embolism in trauma patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine how soon after trauma pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs and if there is an association between the duration of this interval and mortality.

DESIGN:

Retrospective case series.

PATIENTS:

All patients admitted to our trauma service with established PE based on high probability findings on ventilation perfusion scan, positive results on a pulmonary arteriogram, or autopsy from July 1, 1990, to September 30, 1995.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Time interval between injury and PE.

SETTING:

Level I university trauma center.

RESULTS:

Of 18,255 trauma patients identified, 63 met our criteria for PE (30 using a pulmonary arteriogram; 26, a ventilation perfusion scan; and 7, autopsy). Four patients (6%) had a documented PE on day 1 following injury. Mortality was not correlated with the interval between injury and PE. Of the 63 patients, 58 (92%) had 1 or more established risk factors for thromboembolism. The ratio of PaO2 to fraction of inspired oxygen was the only factor predictive of mortality (P = .02, logistic regression analysis).

CONCLUSIONS:

Pulmonary embolism occurs in the immediate period following injury. Aggressive workup in patients with signs consistent with PE should be instituted promptly. Trauma patients who have at least 1 risk factor for thromboembolism should receive prophylaxis as soon after injury as possible.

PMID:
9267270
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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