Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 337-341

Analyzing fat embolism syndrome in trauma patients at AIIMS Apex Trauma Center, New Delhi, India


1 Department of Anesthesia, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Orthopedics, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Surgery, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Nita D'souza
Department of Anesthesia, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma Centre, AIIMS, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.83859

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Background : Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is a constellation of symptoms and signs subsequent to orthopedic trauma. Materials and Methods : The clinical profile of FES in the trauma population was studied over 2 years and 8 months. Results : The incidence of FES among all patients with long bone and pelvic fractures was 0.7% (12). The mean injury severity score was 10.37 (SD 1.69) (range 9-14). The diagnosis of FES was made by clinical and laboratory criteria. Hypoxia was the commonest presentation (92%). The average days of onset of symptoms were 3.5 (SD1.29) days. Management included ventilator support in 75%, average ventilator days being 7.8 (SD 4.08) days. The average ICU stay and hospital stay were 9.1 days and 29.7 days, respectively. A mortality of 8.3% (1) was observed. Conclusion : Fat embolism remains a diagnosis of exclusion and is a clinical dilemma. Clinically apparent FES is unusual and needs high index of suspicion, especially in long bone and pelvic fractures.


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