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How did my brother-in-law died?

Q: My 25 years old brother-in-law had a road accident in, which he lost his left limb with abrasive injuries on face and other parts of body. He was admitted in hospital and was declared clinically dead after 2 days. The doctors told us that the fat from broken bones had reached the brain and the cause of death given was polytrauma and cerebral oedema. Is that possible.

A:Bones contain fat in the marrow and when broken this fat can be released into the blood and block small arteries. This is called the fat embolism syndrome and is a recognised complication of severe injury. Poly trauma means injuries to many parts of the body. Cerebral oedema refers to swelling of the brain after it has been injured and is a common cause of death in those with severe injury to the head.


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