Objective: To describe our outcomes using thrombolysis during the cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) of patients in cardiorespiratory arrest (CA) caused by fulminant pulmonary embolism (FPE).
Design: A case series.
Setting: Intensive care units of a district hospital and a referral centre.
Patients: Six patients that suffered CA secondary to an FPE.
Interventions: Administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator during usual CPR manoeuvres when there was a strong suspicion of FPE. Permission for the thrombolytic therapy was sought from family members in all cases.
Results: Four out of the six patients survived and remain symptom-free. The thrombolysis was not associated with any fatal complications.
Conclusions: Early thrombolysis during CPR manoeuvres for CA apparently caused by an FPE may reduce the mortality rate among these patients.