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What is the risk of fat embolism?

Q: My father aged 72 years suffered fat embolim after a fall and surgery of the thigh (femur). He was in the ICCU for 7 days on oxygen. Chest-ray, CT scan of head and blood tests for kidney function indicate no major problems except problems related to age. Now it is about 4 weeks. He is very weak, but recovering. Kindly advise whether any danger of fat embolism exists now. Please suggest any further tests and medicines.

A:The risk of fat embolism is minimal now. It is important that he is up and about and ambulant so that the blood in the veins of his legs does not clot and gives rise to another attack of embolism. No specific medications are required. What is necessary is to have a periodic review by the treating doctors to make sure that the venous return from the lower limbs is ok. This may require a doppler test at intervals.


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