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SURGERY AND FATAL PULMONARY EMBOLISM

JAMA. 1927;89(14):1153-1154. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690140049016.
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A recently published statistical summary of the occurrence of fatal pulmonary embolism among surgical cases that have come to necropsy in a large American clinic during the last ten years shows an incidence of 6 per cent.4 This is a figure of sufficient magnitude to warrant critical study. It might be expected that the formation of thrombi or other emboli is dependent primarily on the surgical interventions that have occurred in the recorded fatalities. Injuries to the walls of blood vessels with resultant thrombosis are an inevitable accompaniment of many operations. Indeed, as a surgeon has remarked, thrombosis within veins that have been cut is a normal occurrence and necessary to the completion of any surgical procedure. This should extend within the vessel to the point of entrance of the next tributary vein; when it extends beyond this point into the larger vessels, a pathologic condition of grave peril

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