December 1955

Pulmonary Embolism from Occult Phlebothrombosis

Author Affiliations

Consultant Physician, St. Helier Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(6):912-914. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270180118017

This report describes the occurrence of pulmonary embolism as a first manifestation of thrombotic disease in ambulant persons. It does not deal with the all-too-common event of such emboli arising in those confined to bed after surgery, childbirth, or serious illness, nor with those who are aware of some injury, swelling, or other abnormality in their legs, nor yet with the well-recognized group of cases in which pulmonary emboli are a first sign of malignant disease. American literature includes a few descriptions of embolic incidents of the type in question, arising from so-called "spontaneous" thromboses (Homans1 and Naide2), but I am not aware of a similar account from English sources. The cases reported by Simpson,3 however, in which pulmonary emboli caused death in persons who had sat in deck chairs for long periods in air-raid shelters, are in some respects comparable.


Case 1.  —A

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