Standardization of Pulmonary Embolism Evaluation and Management Through Implementation of a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team: A Single-Center Experience at Brooke Army Medical Center

Matthew Tunzi, Joshua Boster, Cassandra Godar, Craig Yugawa, Ian Prichard, Robert Walter, Jess Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Pulmonary embolism (PE) is associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality. Management of PE is complex, and adverse patient events are not uncommon. Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) is among several select institutions that have implemented multidisciplinary pulmonary embolism response teams (PERTs) to improve PE outcomes. PERT structure varies among institutions and often involves specialty expertise from a variety of departments within the hospital. PE response teams aim to improve the diagnosis and treatment for patients with acute PE. Here, we report our initial experience with this intervention. Materials and Methods: We developed a multidisciplinary PERT and implemented a standardized algorithm to guide the evaluation, management, and disposition of patients with acute PE. Patients with PE were identified in the pre-PERT period (2015-2017) and the post-PERT period (2020-2021). A retrospective analysis of clinical characteristics, management strategies, and outcomes was performed for both cohorts. Results: A total of 68 patients with acute PE were analyzed, 38 patients before PERT adoption, and 30 patients post-PERT. Baseline characteristics between the two cohorts were similar. A statistically significant increase in the evaluation for right ventricle dysfunction was noted in the post-PERT cohort, with 80% of patients having pro-brain natriuretic peptide labs obtained compared to 47% in the pre-PERT cohort (P = .005). Furthermore, 97% of patients in the post-PERT cohort had a transthoracic echocardiogram compared to 55% in the pre-PERT cohort (P = .0001). Six patients in the pre-PERT cohort underwent catheter-directed thrombolysis, compared to zero in the post-PERT cohort (P = .006). There were no differences in other treatment modalities. There was no statistically significant difference in length of stay between the two cohorts. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the successful implementation of a PERT at a military treatment facility to guide the evaluation, management, and treatment of PE. The implementation of the PERT improved the appropriate diagnostic evaluation for patients with intermediate-risk PE and reduced the use of non-guideline-based catheter-directed thrombolysis. This initiative serves as an example of what could be applied across other military treatment facilities within the Defense Health Agency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1808-E1812
JournalMilitary Medicine
Volume188
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

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