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Article
August 1928

FAT EMBOLISM: II. INCIDENCE AT POSTMORTEM

Author Affiliations

UNIVERSITY, VA.; ST. LOUIS
From the Department of Surgery of Washington University and the Barnes Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1928;17(2):179-189. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140080003001
Abstract

In an earlier report on uncompleted studies on fat embolism,1 the conclusion was reached that fat embolism is not necessarily traumatic in origin. This conclusion was based partly on experimental work and partly on published reports of the occurrence of fat embolism in nontraumatic cases. At that time, our personal experience did not include any instances of the latter type in the human being. Further, we found that search for fat emboli is not a routine in pathologic examination postmortem. It therefore seemed desirable to check earlier authors by a search through unselected postmortem material for cases of fat embolism.

In our previous observations, the question was also raised as to the problematic rôle of fat embolism in the production of symptoms and death even in extremely severe cases. We found that dogs would tolerate without symptoms an amount of free fat in the blood stream considerably greater, weight

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