Last reviewed 05/2021
Fat Embolism Syndrome may be distinguished from fat embolism:
- The term fat embolism indicates the often asymptomatic presence of fat
globules in the lung parenchyma and peripheral circulation after long bone
or other major trauma
- occurs in the majority of cases of major trauma - at least 95%
- FES is a serious manifestation of the phenomenon of fat emboli with an
overall incidence of 1 - 3.5% of patients with a fracture of the tibia or
femur and 5 - 11% of patients with bilateral or multiple fractures
- FES also occurs in many other traumatic and non-traumatic conditions including
diabetes, burns, inhalation anaesthesia, chronic pancreatitis and alcoholism,
cardiopulmonary bypass, sickle cell anaemia, renal transplantation and infarction,
liposuction and following orthopaedic procedures such as total hip arthroplasty,
intramedullary nailing and total hip and knee arthroplasty
- incidence of fat embolism syndrome is reduced with early fixation of fractures of the femur, as compared with delayed fixation.
- Shaikh N. Emergency management of fat embolism syndrome. J Emerg Trauma Shock. 2009 Jan;2(1):29-33.
- Bone LB et al.Early versus delayed stabilization of femoral fractures:a prospective randomized study.J Bone Surg(Am) 1989;71:336-40.