Network Five: Pulmonary embolism

Network Five: Episode 11Pulmonary embolism

Participants: Dr Kevin Lai (senior emergency physician), Dr Arwen Morath (emergency physician), Dr Pramod Chandru, Naveendran Rajendran, Harry Hong, Samoda Wilegoda Mudalige, Kit Rowe and Caroline Tyers.  

Part 1

This episode is all about pulmonary embolism (PE)! In this first segment, we explore the potential use of the age-adjusted d-dimer in the risk stratification of patients presenting with a possible PE. Presenter: Naveendran Rajendran – ED Resident at Westmead Hospital. 


Part 2

In this second segment on pulmonary embolism (PE), we talk to Dr Jimmy Chien, a senior respiratory physician, about developing the PE response team (PERT) at Westmead Hospital. Then we discuss the potential role of VA-ECMO in high-risk PE. The interlude segment is presented by senior emergency physician Dr Kevin Lai.

Take-Home Points:

  • In addition, the length of stay for these patients managed by the PERT team has been reduced from 13 days pre-PERT to around 8.5 days.  
  • The PERT team facilitates high-level nuanced conversations dependent on the clinical judgment, experience, and knowledge of the specialists involved. 
  • The development of this PERT team has resulted in improved outcomes for PE patients, and more streamlined care for these patients while in the emergency department and on the ward.  

Part 3

In this final segment of the series on pulmonary embolism (PE), we take a close look at the YEARS algorithm for PE. The interlude segment is presented by respiratory physician Dr Bristi Roy.

Take-Home Points:

  • This provides a framework for assessing patients, particularly in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy (and may aid in safely excluding PE without CTPA for low-risk patients). 
  • However, in high-risk patients, pursuing a scan remains the most appropriate approach.  

These episodes were produced with help of HETI’s Emergency Medicine Training Network 5. Please send us an email to let us know what you thought. You can contact us at [email protected]


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FACEM in Westmead and Nepean Hospitals in Sydney, Australia. Lead on Network Five Emergency Medicine Journal Club

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