A patient had both thoracic and extrathoracic reasons for the development of severe respiratory failure. Discussed are the problems of flail chest and pulmonary fat embolism syndrome. Prolonged mechanical ventilation is essential for circumventing respiratory failure and chest wall stabilization. The diagnosis of pulmonary fat embolism is exceedingly difficult to make. Even if fat embolism is present, it is impossible to know if this is the major cause of the pulmonary physiologic deterioration in the individual patient or if other factors are operative. This patient survived both the therapy and the ignorance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine