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Problem based review: pulmonary embolism in pregnancy


Pulmonary embolism (PE) in pregnancy carries a significant mortality. Pregnant patients often present via the acute medical take with symptoms of possible PE and require timely assessment and investigation. The symptoms of PE are sometimes very difficult to differentiate from those of normal pregnancy and the vast majority of patients will require imaging. The radiation risks to mother and foetus from imaging may cause considerable anxiety (to both patients and healthcare providers) and need to be explained to patients in the context of a potentially life-threatening condition so they can be actively involved in decision-making on how best to proceed. When PE is diagnosed in pregnancy, there are obstetric considerations around the time of delivery and women should receive specialist follow-up.

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