There are few catastrophes in medicine as pathetic as the consequences of thrombo-embolic phenomena. Nothing is more tragic than the sudden death of a patient ready to go home after a relatively satisfactory postoperative convalescence. Although less dramatic and less severe only in magnitude, other thrombophlebitic sequelae may be of almost as great significance because of the persistence of disability during the entire lifetime of the person. That these complications occur not infrequently is exemplified by the observations of Snell1 at the Mayo Clinic and of Dietrich2 in Germany that in approximately 8 per cent of all autopsies pulmonary embolism was considered the cause of death. Postoperative thromboses are of frequent occurrence, as illustrated by the relatively high incidence of 0.6 per cent in a collected series of 133,458 operations.3 No less significant to the surgeon is the fact that these postoperative vascular complications are apparently increasing.
OCHSNER A, DeBAKEY M. THROMBOPHLEBITISTHE ROLE OF VASOSPASM IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE CLINICAL MANIFESTATIONS. JAMA. 1940;114(2):117–124. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810020021005