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Pulmonary embolism: a cause of acute confusion in the elderly.
  1. J. E. Shaw,
  2. P. W. Belfield
  1. Department of Medicine for the Elderly, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds, UK.


    Large numbers of elderly patients are admitted to hospital with an acute confusional state. In many of these, the underlying cause is easily found, but in a proportion, correct diagnosis is very difficult. Two cases of acute confusion due to hypoxia are presented, in which the diagnosis of pulmonary embolic disease was made late. The importance of considering this in all patients presenting with acute confusion and the value of blood gas analysis is discussed.

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