Patients with pulmonary embolism considered as low risk can be treated successfully as outpatients, according to a research letter by Dr. Margaret Fang and her associates.

Of nearly 5,000 patients included in the study, 494 were discharged from emergency departments. The proportion of PE patients discharged increased from 5.6% in 2004 to 11.1% in 2010. Just under 19% of those discharged visited the ED within 30 days, and 7.9% were hospitalized. Eleven patients were diagnosed with hemorrhage within 30 days, and there were two deaths within 90 days.

“Although still representing relatively few patients with PE, the proportion of discharges from ED settings nearly doubled during the 7-year study. Shifting appropriate patients to outpatient treatment may have benefits in terms of improved quality of life, enhanced physical and social functioning, and reduced costs of medical care,” the investigators said.

Find the full study in JAMA Internal Medicine (doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.0936).


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