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Despite guidelines promoting outpatient management of patients with low-risk pulmonary embolism (PE), few patients are currently discharged home from hospital emergency departments in the United States. That is the conclusion of a study titled “Outpatient Management of Patients Following Diagnosis of Acute Pulmonary Embolism,” published in the March 2021 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM), a journal of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

The retrospective cohort study of more than 61,000 patients treated at 740 acute care United States emergency departments during a two-year period sought to determine disposition practices and subsequent health care utilization in patients with acute PE. According to the findings, disposition practice varies widely across hospitals and return emergency department visit rates were high, but most did not result in hospitalization.

The lead author of the study is Lauren M. Westafer, DO, MPH, MS, of the Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate, both in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The findings of the study are discussed with the author in a recent AEM podcast titled “Momma I’m Comin Homeā€”for Outpatient Treatment of a Pulmonary Embolism.”