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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 94-95

Early recognition and successful management of a case of fracture shaft of the femur complicated with fat embolism syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome

1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Command Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Surg Lt Cdr S Ushakiran Singh
Department of Anaesthesiologist and Critical Care, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmms.jmms_45_19

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Fat embolism is a life-threatening complication of trauma. Early recognition and prompt treatment help in reducing morbidity. We report a case of fracture right shaft of the femur in a young adult which was being managed conservatively in the hospital ward and subsequently developed fat embolism syndrome (FES) followed by acute respiratory distress syndrome. All clinical parameters were normal except unexplainably low oxygen saturation (SpO2) of 90%–92% without supplemental oxygen. On the 3rd-day post admission, the patient suddenly developed FES and was managed in the intensive care unit (ICU) with elective mechanical ventilation, immediate bedside external fixation of the fracture, and supportive care. Prevention, early recognition by vigilant monitoring, prompt treatment, and adequate supportive care in the ICU help in reducing morbidity. All patients of trauma in the ward should be closely monitored for desaturation; probably, it might be an early sign of FES which is not revealed in literature.

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