Author(s): Woolrich FS, Hernndez CT, Chias AV, Fajardo LM, Rojas OS,
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Abstract An analys is made of the frequency of fat-embolism in patients with battle wounds and in those who suffer traumatisms in every day life; it was found in a high percentage in both groups. It is noted that when tye symptom appear little after the traumatism, the percentage of death is higher (85\%) than when they appear within 24 to 72 hours later (10-20\%). During 5 year, in the Hospital Central Militar de Mexico 12 cases of fat-embolism have been diagnosed. The first ten were handled by the classic method: ventilatory assistance, corticoids, heparin, etc.; having 30\% of deaths. The two last ones were treated by ligation of the inferior vena cava; none of the two died and there was a remarkable change in the course of the clinical manifestations. Based on the experience of the group, in more than 120 cases with ligation of the inferior vena cava due to pulmonary thromboembolism; there was a symptomatic paralelism found between the fat-embolia and the repeated venous embolism; and in our opinion we conclude that the progressiveness of the respiratory insufficiency is due to repeated fat-emboly more so than to the convertion of neutral fat into fatty acids through the action of lipasa in various tissues. With this hypothesis the inferior vena cava was ligated in two patients, and the results obtained were the ones mentioned before. It is emphasized that the procedure has a very low risk of death and there are minimum sequels, more in relationship to the previous flebitic state, than to the ligation itself. It is indicated that the corticosteroids, heparin, ventilatory and cardiac assistance be continued, besides elastic bandage, elevation of the pelvic limbs, exercises, etc. It is accepted that two cases cannot be enough to fully demonstrate how good the method is, but the changes of progress of these two cases after the ligation were so notable, that we are able to recommend this method in all those patients with an important fat-embolism. It is indicated that in the laboratory of Experimental Surgery of the H.C.M. experiments are being made to demonstrate what has been obtained clinically.
This article was published in Arch Inst Cardiol Mex
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals