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Clumps of fat in blood??

Mndy657 Mndy657 (New) New

A patient that I had was a 81 yo male who fell down 15 stairs. He broke a couple ribs, his pelvis, humerous, and C6. When I went to draw his blood out of a picc line these big globs came into the tube. A bunch of it. I showed my nurse and she said "that's just fat..it would be interesting to see his cholesterol levels.". Can this really happen and is it safe? All I could think about was a fat embolism. Could the fat in his blood be from all the broken bones? I'm just very curious about this situation. Thanks to all that have any comments!!:confused:


Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

I've never seen clumps of fat in the blood, but I worked in a bariatric doctor's office for a while where we spun our own blood. You could definaely see the fat in the serum on some people -- yuck! Makes you want to have a salad with lemon and vinegar dressing!


Specializes in acute/critical care. Has 11 years experience.

Yes, yes, yes, agree with what your nurse told you. This happens to me all the time but I work with a population that has a high incidence of CAD. I pretty regularly will pull blood with some fat stranding.

The worst one I ever got was with a patient that was in with his 3rd CVA. He claimed he had 13 stents in his coronaries. I would believe it, because it seemed like 1/2 the tube I drew was a yellow glob.

iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

Yes have seen it before....check the lab values and document your finding

kgh31386, BSN, MSN, RN

Has 4 years experience.

I work with a lot of cardiac and diabetic patients myself, and yes definitely I've seen the fat and cholesterol in the blood. But when it's in the body it's not really "clumped" like that. If you draw back on the syringe you'll notice it thing\ out into a type of "mist" I guess you could say.