The nurse is caring for a patient after a closed reduction of a fractured humerus. While monitoring for a fat embolism, the nurse should be alert for which symptoms?
• Fat embolisms occur most commonly after fractures of long bones (such as humerus or femur). They are also more common after closed reductions of fractures (instead of open).
• Signs and symptoms of a fat embolism usually appear 24-72 hours after the injury. The triad of symptoms
• Diminished pulses and pallor of the affected arm are associated with decreased perfusion, most likely from a clot in the arm.
• Chest pain that radiates to the arm is a classic symptom of myocardial ischemia (associated with heart attacks), not a fat embolism.