If one takes a critical attitude and demands proof, a survey of the literature fails to show convincing evidence in favor of the theory of fat embolism. On the other hand, it appears evident that the diagnosis of fat embolism as a cause of death should be discontinued in favor of anoxyaemia. The etiology of the anoxyaemia may be the aberrations of body fluids following severe trauma, or it may be a non-traumatic disorder of body chemistry.
The persistence of the concept of fat embolism has been a hindrance to the understanding and treatment of certain post-traumatic complications. The etiology and prevention of these disorders are not yet understood.