Ugeskr Læger 2014;176:V07130453
Fatal pulmonary embolism after acute bilateral minor surgery
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a quite common and well-documented complication after major surgery. The causes are multifactorial, but prophylactic antithrombotic treatment reduces the risk of VTE. In Denmark, all hospitals have prophylactic antithrombotic regimes for major surgery. There is no such standard regime for minor surgery. We describe a case of a 79-year-old otherwise healthy woman, who was operated for eight hours in her upper extremities after trauma. The operation was labelled as minor surgery. Prophylactic antithrombotic treatment was never discussed. The patient died 14 hours post-operatively due to pulmonary embolism.