Background & Objectives: Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is mainly due to the obstruction of blood vessels with fat globules, reached to circulation. FES is associated with traumatic and non traumatic diseases. The prevalence is 2-5% in long-bone fractures. The purpose of this study is to evaluate manifestations, laboratory findings and the diagnosed cases of fat embolism.
Methods: In this retrospective study all the patient records associated with injury were evaluated and those diagnosed with the traumatic fat embolism were selected. The data including sex, age, type of fracture, clinical and laboratory findings and symptom onset time were collected using a questionnaire. These data were then statistically analyzed.
Results: 17 out of 1660 patients were found to have fat embolism most of which belonged to middle-aged men. The most common clinical features consisted of: respiratory failure, tachycardia and consciousness level alterations. Fat embolism was mainly associated with tibial and femoral shaft fractures. Low level of Pao2 (Pao2<60) is the most reliable laboratory test in this study.
Conclusion: Fat embolism should be regarded as a threarening factor in patients (especially middle-aged ones) with fractures in long bons of lower limbs. Pao2 Level of can also be used as a reliable laboratory finding.