Pulmonary embolism in the emergency department : a Singaporean nursing case review

Tan, Yvonne & Christensen, Martin (2013) Pulmonary embolism in the emergency department : a Singaporean nursing case review. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 29(1), pp. 48-56.

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The presentation of pulmonary embolism to the emergency department (ED) can prove challenging because of the myriad of potential disease processes that mimic its signs and symptoms. The incidence of pulmonary embolism and indeed the mortality associated with it is relatively high. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial in off-setting the potential deleterious effects associated with this condition. The aim of this article is to present a nursing case review of a patient presenting to the ED with a diagnosis of pulmonary embolism.


We chose to use a case review to highlight the nursing and medical care that was provided for a patient who presented to the emergency department acutely with dyspnoea, chest pain and pyrexia. The use of case reviews are useful in reporting unusual or rare cases and this format is typically seen more in medicine than in nursing. They can naturally take one of two formats—a single case report or a series of case reports; in this case we opted to report on a single case.


The gentleman in question was an ambulance admissionto the ED with a three day history of chest pain, shortness of breath and one episode of syncope which brought him to the ED. Over the course of his admission a variety of treatment modalities were used successfully to alleviate the problem. More notable from a nursing perspective was the use of diagnostic tools as an interpretation to guide his care and provide a platform from which a deeper understanding and appreciation of the intricacies the critically ill patient often presents.


We found the use of case review very enlightening in understanding the disease process and the decision-making that accompanies this. Whilst our patient was successfully rehabilitated home, we learnt a lot from the experience which has been most beneficial in supporting our understanding of pulmonary embolism.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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1 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 68969
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Pulmonary embolism, DVT, PE, Case review, Case reports
DOI: 10.1016/j.iccn.2012.04.001
ISSN: 0964-3397
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Clinical Nursing - Secondary (Acute Care) (111003)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, [VOL 29, ISSUE 1, (2013)] DOI: 10.1016/j.iccn.2012.04.001
Deposited On: 20 Mar 2014 23:43
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2014 23:38

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