Clinical syndrome following identifiable insult releasing fat into the circulation resulting in pulmonary and systemic symptoms

Commonly seen after long bone or pelvic fractures

Classic triad:

  • respiratory abnormalities
  • neurological symptoms
  • petechial rash in non dependent areas

Clinical diagnosis and high index of suspicion required

Treatment is supportive

5-15% mortality rate, however most patients make full recovery over 7 days

Prevention – early fracture immobilization and fixation

Role of corticosteroids controversial


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