Treat Acute PE With a Team Approach


Current advancements and care of acute pulmonary embolism (PE) patients will be the focus of Wednesday morning’s session, “Treating Acute PE and Developing a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team.”

“PE is a silent killer and its incidence is only increasing,” said session co-moderator Linda Le, MD, an assistant professor of cardiovascular surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. “In recent years, there has been more evidence to support a streamlined approach with a collaborative PE response team to not only improve patient outcomes but also to decrease the incidence and long-term morbidity of this disease.”Populations at highest risk for PE include those who have had surgery or trauma, or women around the time of childbirth, said session co-moderator Ellen Dillavou, MD, an associate professor of surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “We have a variety of new devices that can treat patients safely and effectively with lower lytic doses and smaller profiles. We are also gaining knowledge regarding the incidence of post-PE pulmonary hypertension. We are figuring out who is at risk and what treatments are needed.”

Dr. Ellen D. Dillavou

The session will cover the morbidity of severe PE, practical noninvasive diagnostic imaging techniques, risk stratification, and appropriate treatment options. Two talks will address how to develop a PE response team (PERT) collaboration and go over the role of the PERT in massive and submassive PE. These teams – a cooperation of multiple specialties that can include cardiologists, intensivists, vascular surgeons, cardiac surgeons, ER physicians, pulmonologists, and interventional radiologists – are becoming more common in large academic centers and some community hospitals. “The goals of a PERT team are to respond rapidly when a diagnosis of massive or submassive PE is made, as well as to individualize and coordinate care for these complex patients,” Dr. Le said. “A fundamental component of the team is the collaboration of multiple specialties in which all experts involved have the same goals in mind – to improve patient outcomes.”

Dr. Linda Le

PERT teams are effective and a good way to establish intra-institutional collaboration, Dr. Dillavou said. When creating a PERT, she said, “It is really important to see what people are qualified and enthusiastic in your area. All politics are local, so partnering with other specialists is key. I like to start these projects by coming in with an outline and plans, but then inviting others to contribute so everyone feels they have a voice and so the best practices can be derived.”

“These presentations will give current PERT users up-to-the-minute information that attendees can take back to their home institutions to make sure best practices are being used,” said Dr. Dillavou. “For those starting out, there will be a lot of practical advice. The lecturers also will be available for questions and tips.”

10:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
HCC, Room 304
P4: Treating Acute PE and Developing a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT)


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