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Rev Col Bras Cir. 2013 Sep-Oct;40(5):423-6.

The use of corticosteroid for the prophylaxis of fat embolism syndrome in patients with long bone fracture.

[Article in English, Portuguese]


The "Evidence-based Telemedicine - Trauma & Acute Care Surgery" (EBT-TACS) Journal Club conducted a critical review of the literature and selected three recent studies on the use of corticosteroids for the prophylaxis of fat embolism syndrome. The review focused on the potential role of corticosteroids administration to patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at risk of developing post-traumatic fat embolism. The first study was prospective and aimed at identifying reliable predictors, which occurred early and were associated with the onset of fat embolism syndrome in trauma patients. The second manuscript was a literature review of the role of corticosteroids as a prophylactic measure for fat embolism syndrome (FES). The last manuscript was a meta-analysis on the potential for corticosteroids to prophylactically reduce the risk of fat embolism syndrome in patients with long bone fractures. The main conclusions and recommendations reached were that traumatized patients should be monitored with non-invasive pulse oximetry and lactate levels since these factors may predict the development of FES, and that there is not enough evidence to recommend the use of steroids for the prophylaxis of this syndrome.

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