Fat Embolism Case Study

Decent Essays
1. Define Disease process: blockage of an artery usually by a blood clot however can be a fat, or air embolism in the lungs. In this paragraph I will be discussing each type. However, for this SIM our patient will have a blood clot (DVT- deep vein thrombosis) that breaks off and travels to the lungs where it is lodged causes a rapid onset of problems. First I will talk about a fat embolism Fat embolism is a process that fat tissue passes into the bloodstream that travels through the bloodstream and lodges and blocks a blood vessel. This typically occurs between 12 to 36 hours after an injury. A fat embolism almost always occurs with major trauma or an elective surgery that requires intramedullary nailing of long bones. Although a fat embolism is rare it leads to occlusion…show more content…
It is usually presented by a classic triad of symptoms: 1.) respiratory changes; 2.) neurological abnormalities; 3.) petechial rash. The client will normally present first with respiratory changes such as dyspnoea, tachypnoea, and hypoxemia and can progress to respiratory failure. One half of the clients with a fat embolism caused by a long bone fracture will develop severe hypoxaemia and respiratory insufficiency and will require mechanical ventilation. Neurological changes resulting from cerebral embolism produces signs in 86% of cases and often occur after respiratory distress. The changes vary from mild confusion to severe seizures. The most common being confusion with focal neurological signs such as hemiplegia, aphasia, apraxia, and anisocoria. The third in the triad the petechial rash will be the last to develop and it occurs in 60% of the cases. The rash is due to embolization of small dermal capillaries leading to extravasation of erythrocytes. The rash is in the conjunctiva, oral mucous membranes, and skin folds of the upper body. The rash appears within the first 36 hours and disappears completely within 7
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