ACTION STAT: Fat embolism

June 2004 
Volume 34  Number 6
Pages 96 - 96
  PDF Version Available!


  • What's the situation?

  • What's your assessment?

  • What must you do immediately?

  • What should be done later?


  • Figure. No caption a...

    ENTERING Jim Gordon's room on rounds, you find him writhing in bed, breathing rapidly with circumoral cyanosis. He doesn't know where he is and seems angry.

    Figure. No caption available. What's the situation?

    Mr. Gordon, 26, was admitted yesterday with fractures of the left femur and tibia/fibula caused by a fall from a scaffold. He was placed in traction and is scheduled to have an open reduction and internal fixation. Mr. Gordon has no other acute or chronic health problems. On admission, other physical exam findings were normal and he was alert, cooperative, and oriented.

    Now when you assess him, his respiratory rate is 44 and he's extremely short of breath. His pulse is 128; Spo ...

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