Joe H. Dwek, MD; Daniel D. Buff, MD
To the Editor: External pneumatic compression of the calves has been recognized as an effective means of preventing morbidity and mortality from deep venous thrombosis in the surgical patient (1). In addition to stimulating the pumping action of calf muscles, these devices can enhance systemic fibrinolysis. We describe the case of a patient who had a fatal pulmonary embolus that may have been induced by external pneumatic compression.
A 63-year-old white man had a left extrapleural pneumonectomy to remove a mesothelioma. Other than having a malignancy, he had no risk factors for thromboembolic disease and laboratory results were unremarkable. During
Dwek JH, Buff DD. External Pneumatic Calf Compression in Patients with Malignancy. Ann Intern Med. ;109:344–345. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-109-4-344_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(4):344-345.
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