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December 30, 1961

Fat Emboli

Author Affiliations


From The Massachusetts General Hospital. Guest discusser: L. F. Peltier, M.D., Professor of Surgery, and Head, Section of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Kansas, Kansas City.

JAMA. 1961;178(13):1187-1190. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040520008004

Dr. W. H. Harris: A 22-year-old girl was admitted to the emergency ward of the Massachusetts General Hospital shortly after having fallen 3 flights from a fire escape. She had sustained multiple injuries including a segmental fracture of the right femur; an open, comminuted, oblique fracture of the junction of the distal and middle thirds of the left femur; stellate, explosion fractures of both patellae; a fracture of the left fifth metatarsal; multiple fractures of the phalanges of both feet; a compression fracture of D-6; and an undisplaced fracture at the base of the left first metacarpal which extended into the joint. She had not lost consciousness. There was no evidence of visceral injury or neurologic damage. A posteroanterior chest film showed her lungs to be clear (Fig. 1). The management of the fractures themselves will be considered at another time in detail. Suffice it to say that the open

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