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A 41-year-old member asked:

Is air embolism lethal?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Iafrati
Vascular Surgery 37 years experience
It depends.: Two critical issues. Volume of air and where the air goes. For example if a small amount of air enters a vein and travels through an intact heart to the lungs it is trapped by the lungs and causes no problem. However if the air embolism is caused by a burst air sac in the lung as can happen in scuba, or if there is "hole" (patent foramen) in the heart, a small amount of air (<1 oz) can be fatal.
Dr. Trushar Dungarani
Internal Medicine 13 years experience
It can be: Air emboli can be very lethal.

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Last updated Feb 10, 2017

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