Triads, pentads and classic presentations (part 8)

Just when you think there can not be any more classic presentations, another will present itself to you.

  • Fat embolism may occur following a traumatic event such as multiple long bone fractures. It describes a condition where fat globules pass into the vessels, causing the classic triad of:
    • 1) Respiratory failure
    • 2) Cerebral dysfunction (i.e. confusion)
    • 3) Petechial rash. 
  • The Cushing reflex triad  describes the physiological response to increased intracranial pressure and consists of:
    • 1) Bradycardia
    • 2) Hypertension
    • 3) Irregular breathing

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