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Observations on Venous Thrombosis

JOHN McLACHLIN, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S.; J. C. PATERSON, M.D.
AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(4):606-608. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280040062008.
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Over the past few years we have published several papers on the different facets of venous thrombosis.* We believe that the observations made in these papers are still valid and perhaps are worth bringing together.

Pulmonary embolism is an important factor in postoperative deaths. Over the years, deaths after operation due to shock, hemorrhage, sepsis, dehydration, and chemical imbalance have decreased, but not those due to pulmonary emboli. After gastrectomy pulmonary embolism accounts for 25% of the deaths.

Material and Methods  The incidence of venous thrombosis with or without pulmonary embolism is hard to assess since a clinical diagnosis of intravenous clotting is extremely difficult to make. Our observations are based on the actual demonstration of a thrombus at autopsy by dissecting the veins of the pelvis and the lower extremities. The technique in brief consists of the removal and examination of the veins on each side, from the lower

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