Fat embolism in humans was first recognized in 1861 by Zenker1 who described fat droplets in the lung of a railroad worker who had suffered a fatal thoracoabdominal crush injury. Despite the patient’s multiple fractures, Zenker believed that the fat originated from the contents of a lacerated stomach. Twelve years later, Von Bergmann2 clinically diagnosed fat embolism syndrome (FES) in a patient with a fractured femur, and in 1875, Czerny3 investigated the association of cerebral symptoms that sometimes occurred in patients with fat emboli. While most patients with FES are victims of trauma or have undergone orthopedic surgery, the entity has also been associated with a long list of medical conditions (Table 25.1).


Acute Respiratory Failure Airway Pressure Release Ventilation Multiple Trauma Patient Refractory Hypoxemia Civilian Accident 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. O’Donnell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Surgical Critical Care, Division of SurgeryThe Lahey Clinic Medical CenterBurlingtonUSA

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