Acute massive pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening emergency that must be promptly diagnosed and managed. A 52-year-old man presented with progressively increasing dyspnoea for three days. He had a previous history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was currently a heavy smoker. Examination revealed bilateral wheezing. Chest x-ray and electrocardiography showed non-specific changes. The patient was initially treated as a case of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation secondary to pneumonia. However, despite optimum medical management, his oxygen saturation deteriorated. Emergent computed tomography scan of chest showed bilateral massive pulmonary emboli. As the patient's haemodynamic status rapidly deteriorated, cardiothoracic surgery team was immediately consulted and the patient was taken to the operating room. Under cardiopulmonary bypass, bilateral open embolectomy was performed. Following surgical intervention, the patient made a remarkable recovery.
Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
(2011). Successful surgical embolectomy in acute massive bilateral pulmonary embolism. Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association, 61(5), 498-500.
Available at: http://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_surg_cardiothoracic/10