Objectives: In patients with pelvic or acetabular fractures, to compare the prevalence of pulmonary embolism in a time period without screening for deep vein thrombosis to that seen when a screening protocol was in place. Design: Retrospective. Setting: County hospital. Patients: All patients with closed fractures of the pelvis or acetabulum treated during the study periods. Intervention: Prophylaxis for deep vein thrombosis was the same for both groups. From November 1, 1997 though November 31, 1999, a screening protocol for deep vein thrombosis was employed using ultrasound and magnetic resonance venography. From January 1, 2000 through December 1, 2001, no screening was used. Main Outcome Measurement: Pulmonary emboli were recorded. Results: The 1997 to 1999 time period included 486 patients with fractures of the pelvis or acetabulum; the 2000 to 2001 time period included 487. In the period when a screening protocol was in place, 10 patients (2%) were diagnosed with pulmonary embolism by pulmonary arteriogram, autopsy, or ventilation perfusion scan. All but 2 who were diagnosed with pulmonary embolism had undergone screening for deep vein thrombosis, and none of the screening tests were positive. In the 2000 to 2001 time period, when no screening for deep vein thrombosis was done, 7 patients (1.4%) were diagnosed with pulmonary embolism, by pulmonary arteriogram, autopsy, spiral computed tomography scan, or high clinical suspicion. There was no significant difference between the prevalence of pulmonary embolism seen in 1997 to 1999 and that seen in 2000 to 2001 (P = 0.48). Conclusion: Discontinuation of screening for the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis did not change the rate of pulmonary embolism.
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine