In about 50% of patients with pulmonary embolism, the embolism is massive, that is, accompanied by at least one of several potentially compromising conditions. Unfortunately, about three fourths of patients who die of pulmonary embolism do so within 1 hour of symptom onset. Thus, expeditious assessment of patients with suspected massive pulmonary embolism is crucial. In this article, Dr Gossage discusses prompt recognition of this condition and presents several management strategies.
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