The nurse is assessing a client for complications resulting from a femur fracture. Which of the following support a diagnosis of Fat Emboli Syndrome (FES)?

Decreased level of consciousness
Petechiae on the chest, axillae, and abdomen
Pulmonary edema
Thrombocytopenia

Explanation

• Fat embolism syndrome (FES) is a rare clinical condition in which circulating fat emboli or fat macroglobules lead to multisystem dysfunction.

• Thrombocytopenia is due to the fat emboli activating the clotting cascade.

• Pulmonary edema with diffuse rales and rhonchi may occur as late signs of FES.

• Petechiae are often noted on the chest, axillae, flanks, abdomen, clavicular fossae, and soft palate in a client with FES.

• Apprehension, anxiety, agitation, or acute confusion can be seen in a client with FES.

• Excessive swelling is a sign of compartment syndrome which constricts the enclosed soft tissues and introduces the risk for compartment syndrome.

• Hyperpnea, or increased depth of breathing, is not associated with FES. Generalized swelling is also not a symptom.

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