Crit Pathw Cardiol. 2021 Jan 11. doi: 10.1097/HPC.0000000000000252. Online ahead of print.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE), the combined syndromes of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), is currently the third most frequent acute cardiovascular syndrome globally behind myocardial infarction and stroke. PE carries substantial mortality. In the past decade we have seen a remarkable improvement in new diagnostic tools as well as advances in therapeutic options to manage patients with PE. Still, even with recently updated society guidelines, the management of intermediate and high-risk PE requires clinician expertise and judgment. To aid health care providers caring for patients with acute PE, we have developed a novel, comprehensive yet straightforward, pathway for the management of patients with PE. We believe this pathway can be used in many health care systems around the globe. Our pathway for the diagnosis and management of PE is divided into three steps: the diagnosis of PE, the acute management of patients with PE, and recommendations for chronic management. The pathway requires classification of the PE by the risk of mortality and thus leads to the appropriate intensity of initial care, intervention and monitoring. The Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) is a multispecialty team designed to guide the decision-making for the individual patient with intermediate-high or high-risk PE. The PERT team brings together specialists from different disciplines. The team convenes in real time via a platform such as WhatsApp or texts messages to communicate clinical data, discuss the options and provide consensus for a course of management. The success of this pathway to manage PE depends heavily on developing a collaborative group of specialists dedicated to provide care at each stage to patients with PE.