Central line air embolism


Intravenous literature: van Lerssel, S., Specenier, P., Baar, I., De Belder, F., Jorens, P.G. and Vermorken, J.B. (2010) Acute hemiplegia caused by a retrograde cerebral venous air embolism after central venous catheter removal: an illustrative case. Acta Clinica Belgica. 65(1), p.51-3.


Central venous catheters are widely used in clinical practice. Air embolism is a rare, but potentially life threatening complication of central venous catheterisation. We describe a case of collapse and transient hemiplegia after removal of central venous catheter. This was accidentally performed with the patient in upright position. A CT scan of the brain demonstrated air in the sinus cavernosus bilaterally and at the posterior wall of the foramen magnum.


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