Introduction

Fat embolism was first described by Ze.nkei..i1.8.6.2). More than a century later there is still confusion and controversy surrounding its definition, incidence, pathogenesis, assessment, and management (Peltier 1969; kiOd§qy§... §.t,§.L 1987).

Fat embolism is distinguished from fat embolism syndrome in that the former refers to the presence, usually asymptomatic, of fat droplets in the lung parenchyma and systemic circulation following major trauma, particularly closed long-bone or pelvic fractures. The incidence of fat embolism is unknown, but it is probably present in the majority of patients suffering from long-bone or pelvic fracture. Most remain asymptomatic or develop mild self-limiting hypoxia. Fat embolism syndrome is clinically significant and may be a separate pathological entity or a more severe manifestation of fat embolism. It occurs less frequently and is the most common cause of death secondary to long-bone and pelvic fractures (Acostaand PeLtier.. 19.92.).

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