Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Fat embolization is a frequent accompaniment of long bone fracture; however, this phenomenon only occasionally leads to the clinically recognized traumatic fat embolism syndrome. Three recent cases are presented of fat embolization following long bone fractures and associated with penetrating arterial injury. Consequences illustrated ranged from asymptomatic fat globules in the urine, through serious pulmonary insufficiency, to central nervous system damage with death. Treatment should be directed at effective mechanical ventilatory support to avoid hypoxemia.