Ely et al (11) documented low physician awareness of the risks of venous air embolism
during catheter removal but found that through education they could increase appropriate positioning.
Although postoperative air embolism
is a rare complication of CVC placement, a high index of suspicion is necessary to reduce morbidity and mortality.
With the exception of those rare cases where there are technical problems associated with bypass, the major risk of significant air embolism
is during procedures in which the left ventricle or aorta are opened, such as valve replacement surgery.
Systemic air embolism
has been described as a rare complication, but with catastrophic cardiovascular and neurological sequelae thought to be due to bubbles occluding coronary and cerebral vessels.
The hypoplastic lung is excessively fragile and hence susceptible to barotrauma, resulting in alveolar rupture, with progression to pulmonary interstitial emphysema, pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax and even, on rare occasions, surgical emphysema and air embolism
Reducing Risk of Air Embolism
Associated with Central Venous Access Devices: Air embolism
is a rare but potentially lethal complication of certain medical and surgical procedures.
Data on the natural history, morbidity and mortality of air embolism
in humans is scarce.
The rapid exchange design also reduces the risk of introducing an air embolism
into the left atrium by eliminating the need for a large bore delivery catheter common to other devices.
These targeted hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) include: retained foreign objects, air embolism
, blood incompatibility, pressure ulcers stages III and IV, harmful falls, manifestations of poor glycemic control, catheter urinary tract infections, vascular catheter-associated infections, surgical site infections and deep vein thrombosis following knee or hip replacements.
Other possible complications include pneumocephalus (2) nerve damage and venous air embolism
Among the patient risks of MST that are reduced by the Accelerated Seldinger Technique is air embolism
Use of the affected devices may cause an air embolism
or leakage of blood and/or therapy, which may result in serious injury or death.