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October 1957

Thromboembolism and Pulmonary Emboli: A Method of Prevention

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, the Creighton University School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(4):493-499. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280160003001

During the past 10 years our interest has been centered about the problem of prophylaxis of thromboembolism and pulmonary emboli. It is difficult to discuss one phase of the thromboembolic problem without discussing the other, since they are interrelated. Little progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of this disease since Virchow first described the syndrome, in 1866. The multiplicity of contributing factors to thromboembolism renders any study difficult to evaluate.

Thromboembolism and pulmonary emboli, fatal and nonfatal, still remain a prominent problem. Although during the past five years the incidence may have decreased somewhat, it has shown a rapid rise during the past two decades. Roe and Goldthwait1 showed an increase 2.16%, during the period from 1931 to 1935, to 3.66%, from 1937 to 1939 (Fig. 1), then to 4.42%, from 1941 to 1947. This increase occurred despite all methods, including venous ligation and anticoagulant therapy.