Is air embolism lethal?

It can be. Air emboli can be very lethal. .
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.

Related Questions

Scared I have air embolism from sex?

Not likely. Pneumoperitoneum (free air) in the abdomen potentially can occur if the introitus (read: vagina) is blown into... As beyond the cervix, at the fimbria of the fallopian tubes is a direct opening into the abdomen-pelvis. The fimbria open up to but are not fused to their respective ovary. Air embolism only occurs when, say, an IV is injected with air (poor technique)... Read more...
What makes you think. Air embolism would be sudden onset. You need to be more specific as to what makes you think you had an air embolism. Read more...

What are the tests for air embolism?

Air in the heart. If air is introduced in venous side of the circulation if often foams in the heart and may be visible on routine chest x-ray as areas of low density in the heart, especially right atrium. There are no lab tests specific for air embolism. Usually it takes about 100 cc of air to cause symptoms and lesser amount may go unnoticed. Read more...

What are the symptoms of air embolism?

Symptoms.... Air embolism is very serious and is often life-threatening. Symptoms can include sudden onset of shortness of breath, chest pain, hallucinations, passing out, low oxygen levels, cardiac arrhythmias, etc. There also needs to be a way for air to enter the bloodstream, travel to the heart/lungs and obstruct. This always requires emergent care and can be deadly. Read more...

What sort of problem is an air embolism?

Air emolism. This is serious. Is common in scuba divers diving deeper than 60 feet. Basically you blood which is liquid becomes bubbelish (like when you open a soda can) causing lack of oxygen to your brain. It can kill you instanly. Read more...

Is an air embolism after 24 hrs possible?

Highly unlikely. Where should the air come from? Why are you concerned about air embolism? 24 hours after what? Injection of air may cause embolism, within seconds or minutes. But 24 hours? Makes no sense. Read more...

What happens when you have an air embolism?

Nothing usually. The air typically is broken up as it goes through tissues- rare it causes strokes or other issues. Read more...
Occasional problems. As dr. Simpson says, usually nothing happens when a small amount of air enters the veins. It is trapped in the lung and absorbed. However, if the amount of air is large, it can block blood flow in the lung. Also, if there is a hole in the heart (atrial septal defect), or a so-called "shunt" of blood that bypasses the lung, air can get into the arteries and cause a stroke. Read more...

Would I die right away from an air embolism?

Air embolism. An air embolism is a real issue but death only occurs when significant enough air goes through to block adequate blood flow. Fortunately in most air embolisms the end result is not death. Read more...