J Korean Soc Traumatol.  2017 Sep;30(3):107-111. 10.20408/jti.2017.30.3.107.

Fat Embolism Syndrome - Three Case Reports and Review of the Literature

Affiliations
  • 1Faculty of Nursing, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece. grigorakos@parliament.gr
  • 2Intensive Care at Trauma, Hospital of Athens, KAT, Kifissia, Athens, Greece.
  • 3Center of Respiratory Insufficiency, Sotiria Chest Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

The fat embolism syndrome (FES) represents a condition, usually with traumatic etiology, which may pose challenges to diagnosis while its treatment usually requires supportive measures in the intensive care units (ICUs). The clinical criteria, including respiratory and cerebral dysfunction and a petechial rash, along with imaging studies help in diagnosis. Here we present three case reports of young male who developed FES and were admitted to our ICUs after long bones fractures emerging after vehicle crashes and we briefly review FES literature. All patients' treatment was directed towards: 1) the restoration of circulating volume with fresh blood and/or plasma; 2) the correction of acidosis; and 3) immobilization of the affected part. All patients recovered and were released to the orthopedic wards. The incidence of cases of patients with FES admitted in our ICUs records a significant decrease. This may be explained in terms effective infrastructure reforms in Greece which brought about significant improvement in early prevention and management.

Keyword

Embolism, Fat; Intensive Care Units; Long bone fractures; Fat embolism prevention; Fat embolism management

MeSH Terms

Acidosis
Diagnosis
Embolism, Fat*
Exanthema
Greece
Humans
Immobilization
Incidence
Intensive Care Units
Male
Orthopedics
Plasma
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