Massive air embolism while removing a central venous catheter

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We experienced the case of a 61-year-old male who suffered from a paradoxical systemic air embolism while we removed a CVC” Seong et al (2018).

Abstract:

Air embolism is a rare but mostly iatrogenic complication of medical or surgical procedures and may have a serious outcome. On the removal of a central venous catheter (CVC), minor carelessness can lead to a venous air embolism sometimes accompanied by arterial embolism. We experienced the case of a 61-year-old male who suffered from a paradoxical systemic air embolism while we removed a CVC. Immediate resuscitation and venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support saved his life. Multiple end-organ damage related to the systemic air embolism was noted, including the kidney, liver, and brain. In echocardiography, multiple air bubbles and an atrial septal defect were observed. An air embolism is preventable with appropriate precautions and techniques. Therefore, it is important to identify errors and prevent occurrence.

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Reference:

Seong, G.M., Lee, J., Kim, M., Choi, J.C. and Kim, S.W. (2018) Massive air embolism while removing a central venous catheter. International Journal of Critical Illness and Injury Science. 8(3), p.176-178.

doi: 10.4103/IJCIIS.IJCIIS_14_18.

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