Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is common and guidelines recommend outpatient care only for PE patients with low predicted mortality. Outcomes for patients with intermediate-to-high predicted mortality managed as outpatients are unknown. Electronic records were analysed for adults with PE managed on our ambulatory care unit over 2 years. Patients were stratified into low or intermediate-to-high mortality risk groups using the Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI). Primary outcomes were the proportion of patients ambulated, 30-day all-cause mortality, 30-day PE-specific mortality and 30-day re-admission rate. Of 199 PE patients, 74% were ambulated and at 30 days, all-cause mortality was 2% (four out of 199) and PE-specific mortality was 1% (two out of 199). Ambulated patients had lower PESI scores, better vital signs and lower troponin levels (morning attendance favoured ambulation). Over a third of ambulated patients had an intermediate-to-high risk PESI score but their all-cause mortality rate was low at 1.9% (one out of 52). In patients with intermediate-to-high risk, oxygen saturation was higher and pulse rate lower in those who were ambulated. Re-admission rate did not differ between ambulated and admitted patients. Two-thirds of patients with intermediate-to-high risk PE were ambulated and their mortality rate remained low. It is possible for selected patients with intermediate-to-high risk PESI scores to be safely ambulated.

Original publication




Journal article


ERJ Open Res

Publication Date