Pulmonary embolism confounded with COVID-19 suspicion in a catatonic patient presenting to anesthesia for ECT: a case report

Braz J Anesthesiol. 2021 Mar 22;S0104-0014(21)00096-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bjane.2021.02.031. Online ahead of print.


Catatonic patients may develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) due to prolonged periods of immobility. These life-threatening conditions demand prompt recognition and management. We describe the case of a patient with catatonia who presented to anesthesia for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) at the outset of the current coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. She complained of breathing difficulty and was suspected to have COVID-19 infection. On further evaluation, she was found to have DVT and PE and required oxygen therapy and intensive care management. The diagnostic delay in our patient would have probably not occurred, had it not been for the existing pandemic situation.

Keywords: COVID-19; Catatonia; Deep vein thrombosis; Pulmonary embolism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports