Pulmonary embolism in a trauma patient with liver and orthopedic injuries

Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, CHU of Liège, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.
Acta anaesthesiologica Belgica 01/2009; 60(4):259-62.
Source: PubMed


We report the case of a 41-year-old man admitted for lower limb and liver trauma following a car accident. Surgical repair of a tibial fracture was performed under general anesthesia 5 days after admission while the liver injury was managed conservatively. At the time of tourniquet inflation, the patient presented a pulmonary embolism. Low-molecular-weight heparin administration had been delayed for 72 hours after admission due to the liver injury. Risk factors for bleeding and thromboembolism in trauma patients with liver injury are discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: Arrhythmias resulting in cardiac arrest during electroconvulsive therapy have been reported. Most reported cases of cardiac arrest had asystole as the initial rhythm. Pulseless electrical activity as an initial rhythm of cardiac arrest during electroconvulsive therapy has never been reported. Also, thromboembolism after inflation of pneumatic tourniquet during lower limb surgery has been reported but never following tourniquet inflation during an electroconvulsive therapy. We report a case involving an 81- year- old female who presented to us for an electroconvulsive therapy for severe depression and developed pulseless electrical activity immediately after electroconvulsive therapy. She was successfully resuscitated and was later found to have bilateral pulmonary emboli with a complete occlusion of the right lower lobe pulmonary artery. The source of embolus was from her left lower extremity deep venous thrombus, which we believe, got dislodged intraoperatively after inflation of pneumatic tourniquet. Our patient not only survived the massive pulmonary embolus, but also showed significant improvement in her mental status compared to her pre-admission level at the time of discharge to a sub-acute rehabilitation centre. We recommend that patients who are elderly and at high risk of thromboembolism should selectively undergo a preoperative doppler ultrasound for deep venous thrombosis. Also, selective application of tourniquet in the upper limb, to monitor for seizure activity, would reduce the incidence of pulmonary thrombo-embolism as embolic events are significantly less from deep venous thromboses of upper extremities when compared to lower extremities.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · BMC Anesthesiology