skip to Main Content

Outpatient Management of Emergency Department Patients With Acute Pulmonary Embolism: Variation, Patient Characteristics, and Outcomes

Outpatient management of emergency department (ED) patients with acute pulmonary embolism is uncommon. We seek to evaluate the facility-level variation of outpatient pulmonary embolism management and to describe patient characteristics and outcomes associated with home discharge. The Management of Acute Pulmonary Embolism (MAPLE) study is a retrospective cohort study of patients with acute pulmonary embolism undertaken in 21 community EDs from January 2013 to April 2015. We gathered demographic and clinical variables from comprehensive electronic health records and structured manual chart review. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess the association between patient characteristics and home discharge. We report ED length of stay, consultations, 5-day pulmonary embolism-related return visits and 30-day major hemorrhage, recurrent venous thromboembolism, and all-cause mortality. Of 2,387 patients, 179 were discharged home (7.5%). Home discharge varied significantly between EDs, from 0% to 14.3% (median 7.0%; interquartile range 4.2% to 10.9%). Median length of stay for home discharge patients (excluding those who arrived with a new pulmonary embolism diagnosis) was 6.0 hours (interquartile range 4.6 to 7.2 hours) and 81% received consultations. On adjusted analysis, ambulance arrival, abnormal vital signs, syncope or presyncope, deep venous thrombosis, elevated cardiac biomarker levels, and more proximal emboli were inversely associated with home discharge. Thirteen patients (7.2%) who were discharged home had a 5-day pulmonary embolism-related return visit. Thirty-day major hemorrhage and recurrent venous thromboembolism were uncommon and similar between patients hospitalized and those discharged home. All-cause 30-day mortality was lower in the home discharge group (1.1% versus 4.4%). Home discharge of ED patients with acute pulmonary embolism was uncommon and varied significantly between facilities. Patients selected for outpatient management had a low incidence of adverse outcomes.

Authors: Vinson DR; Ballard DW; Reed ME; Sax DR; Mark DG; MAPLE Investigators of the KP CREST Network; et al.

Ann Emerg Med. 2018 07;72(1):62-72.e3. Epub 2017-12-13.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top