Bulger et al reported clinical findings associated with the fat embolism syndrome (FES).

The authors are from the University of Washington in Seattle.


Patient selection: trauma


Frequency: about 1% of all patients with a long bone fracture


Clinical features:

(1) one or more long bone fractures

(2) hypoxia

(3) mental status changes

(4) petechiae

(5) body temperature > 39.0°C

(6) heart rate > 120 beats per minute (tachycardia)

(7) platelet count < 150,000 per µL (thrombocytopenia)

(8) unexplained anemia


These findings may be masked by or ascribed to the traumatic injuries.

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