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Doctor insights on: Air Embolism Circulatory Disorders

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Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
104 doctors shared insights

Air Embolism (Definition)

Blood vessels are made to carry blood - liquid. A small amount of air in a vessel is not usually a big deal as it will be absorbed into the blood. Larger volumes of air (10 mL or larger) can be significant to block blood flow in that vessel. That is bad in the brain (stroke) and really bad in the heart because ...Read more


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Was fingering and now i'm worried I have an air embolism?

Why?: What is fingering? Why would you think about air embolism? For air embolism you would have to inject air to obstruct your right heart, for example with a syringe. There there does not seem to any issue. ...Read more

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What are early warning signs and symptoms of air embolism?

What are early warning signs and symptoms of air embolism?

Variable: Small amounts of air in circulation may be asymptomatic. Introduction of 100 cc or more of air may cause heart failure, respiratory distress, presence of air in the heart on chest x-ray and in severe cases alterations in mental status and stroke like symptoms. ...Read more

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What are treatments for air embolism?

Recompression: Recompression is the most effective treatment of an air embolism. Normally this is carried out in a recompression chamber where as pressure increase the solubility of a gas increases. It is also important to promptly place the patient in trendelenburg position (head down) and on their left side. This positioning helps to trap air in the apex of the ventricle. ...Read more

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What is the treatment for air embolism?

Oxygen, hyperbaric: Depending on the cause of air embolism, treatment with oxygen or in severe cases with hyperbaric oxygen may be needed. Introduction of less than 100 cc of air in the venous side may not require specific treatment. Air embolism due to decompression sickness is the main reason for using hyperbaric oxygen, i.e., putting the patient in a chamber with high pressure. ...Read more

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How can an air embolism kill your fetus?

Extremely rare: Air embolism refers to air or gas entering the blood stream. In an adult it can be from an intravenous line. In the case of a fetus the potential would be from the mothers bloodstream or vaginal canal. If you have concerns then discuss these with your obstetrician. They are here to help you and rare case reports exist. ...Read more

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Can an air embolism during sex really kill?

Can an air embolism during sex  really kill?

How?: How would you get an air embolism during sex? Death during sex seems to be almost entirely due to stress on the heart leading to a heart attack in people with advanced heart disease. In general, sex is healthy. Practice safe sex at all times. ...Read more

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What are the treatments for air embolism from an iv?

What are the treatments for air embolism from an iv?

Depends. : Small amount (a few bubbles) are generally very well tolerated and do not need any treatment. Large amounts entering the central veins, especially during prodedures like a central line placement, is more concerning. The best "treatment" is prevention - like keeping the patients head below the heart. If air embolism occurs we are taught to position patients certain ways and aspirate. ...Read more

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Am afraid of an air embolism and i'm 8 months pregnant?

Am afraid of an air embolism and i'm 8 months pregnant?

Why?: Air can only get into veins from intravenous, and is carefully watched. Pregnancy does not produce that problem. Other issues of obesity, sedentary deep vein clots are more of a concern. Amniotic fluid embolism is rare. ...Read more

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How long does chest pain associated with air embolism last?

How long does chest pain associated with air embolism last?

Untreated till death: Air embolism is a a serious lethal problem when air enter vascular system , like when placing central catheters , vascular disruptions, will loss of consciousness , convulsions , heart attacks, asssociate chest pains , deep water divers, release of micro bubbles of air causing neurological damage ( bends ). ...Read more

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Is sex okay when pregnant? Am I at risk of a air embolism?

Is sex okay when pregnant? Am I at risk of a air embolism?

Sex in pregnancy: There are no restrictions regarding sex in pregnancy unless specifically instructed by your doctor for a complication of pregnancy. Air embolism via oral sex is exceedingly rare and only a few cases have ever been documented in the medical literature. The few cases ever seen involved blowing large amounts of air directly into the vagina. Oral sex is not restricted during pregnancy. ...Read more

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How long does palpitations associated with air embolism last?

Until one of two...: If you have an air embolism severe enough to cause palpitations, the likelihood is that they will persist until either the air embolism has passed, or the patient has. Air embolism is a rather rare problem, fortunately, and we don't often have to deal with this problem. ...Read more

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What are the chances of getting an air embolism while pregnant?

What are the chances of getting an air embolism while pregnant?

Rare, amniotic : Air embolism very rare and need a site of air entry via catheter in vein. Amniotic embolism can occur from amniotic fluid embolism also rare. ...Read more

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What number of units/cc's of air will kill someone. (air embolism)?

Variable: Air embolism through the vein requires higher amount of air to cause death, in the range of 50-100 ml of air injected fast like a ball can cause obstruction in the heart valve like a lock. Arterial air embolism requires very little amount and as little as 1/2 cc of air that goes into the coronary artery can cause a fatal heart attack and 1-2 cc can obstruct flow in the brain. ...Read more

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How long does difficulty breathing associated with air embolism last?

Not very long: Shortness of breath aftercare embolism is not usually last for a long. Your body usually absorbs the air very quickly, and it is gone within a few hours. ...Read more

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Can you get an air embolism from an enema. Accidently squeezed and blew air.

I wouldn't worry: Remember gastroenterologists complete colonoscopies everday and during this procedure this requires insufflation(pumping the colon up with air!). Air embolism is exceptionally rare. And remember this procedure is completed under much more pressure than an enema would create. So in the end, I wouldn't worry to much. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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Is it true that masturbating with the showerhead can cause an air embolism?

Is it true that masturbating with the showerhead can cause an  air embolism?

Masturbation: Probably not. Unless you are using the shower head from seinfeld. When kramer bought that powerful one off the back of a truck! ...Read more

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Could an air embolism travel from ur lungs to another part of your body and cause more damage?

Could an air embolism travel from ur lungs to another part of your body and cause more damage?

Unlikely: Unless there is a right to left shunt, such as avm of the lung or a connection through the right atrium to the left atrium. ...Read more

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Could a nebulizer up your anus for about two seconds becoming very painful lead to and air embolism?

Could a nebulizer up your anus for about two seconds becoming very painful lead to and air embolism?

I take it that you : Inserted the neublizer into your rectum and did this. I would assume that expansion of the rectum from the air could cause pain. I don't know about air embolisms from this source. This is not a healthy sexual behavior. You will also need to continue using your nebulizer since you have asthma - don't want to contaminate that. What we put in body orifices can harm us. ...Read more

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Dr. James Krick
1 doctor shared a insight

Embolus (Definition)

Usually a blood clot that migrates from one area of the body to another. Most commonly a clot from a leg vein to the lung . It can also pertain to a clot, or atheromatous material that moves from one segment to another, such as cholesterol material in a carotid lesion moving into the ...Read more


Dr. Thomas Fiala
34 doctors shared insights

Circulatory Disorders (Definition)

Circulatory disorders is a term for any disease that affects veins or arteries ...Read more