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Pulmonary Fat EmbolismA Prospective Study within the Forensic Autopsy Collective of the Republic of Iceland

Authors


Additional information and reprints requests:

Christian Jackowski, M.D.

Institute of Forensic Medicine

University of Bern

Bühlstrasse 20

3012 Bern

Switzerland

E-mail: christian.jackowski@irm.unibe.ch

Abstract

In the last century, studies established the origin of pulmonary fat embolism (PFE) and identified mechanical trauma as main source for PFE. This prospective study focused on determining a possible influence of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in the context of an aging population, on the occurrence of PFE. Lung tissue samples from 256 bodies were examined using the twin-edged knife technique without preliminary fixation but after staining with Sudan III. PFE grading was determined according to Falzi and performed at a 10× magnification. For statistical analysis, bodies were grouped by age, gender, and putrefaction and categorized following whether they had experienced trauma, CPR, the combination of both, or no mechanical impact. There was a significant correlation of trauma, CPR, and the combination of both to PFE but no noticeable influence of gender or putrefaction. An age over 70 years promotes a PFE due to resuscitation.

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