Fatal fat embolism following decompression sickness in an experimental dive.
Dysbarism-related osteonecrosis: proceedings of a symposium on dysbaric osteonecrosis. Beckman EL, Elliott DH, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHEW (NIOSH) Publication No. 75-153, 1974 Jan; :83-84
The case history is described of a 22 year old man decompressed in a simulated dive from 31 to 1.0 atmospheres absolute (ATA) in 63.5 hours. On decompression he suffered vertigo bends at 18.5 ATA, and in the final period the subject experienced mild pain in both knees. He was placed in intensive care but suffered cardiac arrest on the second and third days and died on the sixth day. Gross examination revealed a hemorrhage in the bone marrow of the distal third of the left femur. The hemorrhage and fat-tissue destruction in the marrow was apparently followed by a diffuse, and fatal, fat embolism.
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