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August 1927


Arch Surg. 1927;15(2):254-264. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1927.01130200102008

The relatively high incidence of vascular thrombosis leading to pulmonary embolism in surgical patients as compared with medical patients is well known, but the cause is still obscure. The implication is that the surgical procedures, per se, or their sequelae, are responsible for the occurrence of pulmonary embolism. Since primarily the embolus is a clot dislodged from some distant locus, attention is directed toward the mechanism of blood clotting and the factors that might participate in the formation of a clot within a vein following operation. In order to determine what effect, if any, a major operation might have on the condition of the blood, twelve patients were observed for changes in the blood following operation at the Mayo Clinic (table 1). Five determinations were made of each factor studied. The first determination was made within two hours before operation, the second within four hours after operation, the third on