Pulmonary Embolism in the Elderly
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The risk of pulmonary embolism increases with age. Risk factors in the elderly include stasis caused by immobility and reduced venous tone, the increasing need for operative procedures, particularly orthopedic procedures to hip and knee, and reduced fibrinolytic activity in leg veins. The diagnosis of pulmonary embolism is difficult and is made on the basis of clinical probability, lung scan findings, investigations for deep venous thrombosis and, when indicated, by pulmonary angiography. Effective prophylactic and therapeutic approaches are now available.
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