The following is a summary of “Cerebral Fat Embolism After a Fall” published in the October 2022 issue of Emergency Medicine by Gibbons et al.

After considerable damage to the long bones, a patient may be diagnosed with an unusual condition known as cerebral fat embolism. In the vast majority of cases, there is evidence of pulmonary involvement; however, this case had a patient who exhibited only neurologic symptoms as a result of a fat embolism. An air embolism was diagnosed in a woman who was 89 years old when she arrived at the emergency department following an incident of altered mental status and expressive aphasia. 

The woman had been transferred to the emergency department from another hospital. An acute neurologic event was discovered to have been brought on by the patient as a result of a cerebral fat embolism, which was discovered through a secondary evaluation of the patient’s computed tomography angiography head imaging. An isolated sacral fracture occurred around 6 weeks before the occurrence of the cerebral fat embolism.

When a patient comes in complaining of symptoms that could be associated with a stroke and a cerebral fat embolism is confirmed, a comprehensive examination of the patient needs to be carried out to locate the primary fracture site. Fractures of the long bones in elderly patients are known to have a considerable morbidity and mortality rate. A fast diagnosis is essential because a cerebral fat embolism that is associated with the condition can raise the risk of mortality and morbidity.