I'm a new nurse and am currently having my orientation in a hospital. One of our topics is IV therapy and we tackled on complications such as air embolism which resulted from air in the IV line. Our preceptor told us that once air is introduced in the circulation, we should immediately turn the patient to his left side with the head of bed elevated.
Me: What would happen next after that, doesn't the air get reabsorbed or something?
Preceptor: There is nowhere where it could be reabsorbed.
Me: What would be the management or procedure to remove the air bubble that is trapped, supposedly, in the heart?
Preceptor: It cannot be removed. What could we do, stab the heart with a syringe and aspirate the air bubble? It will forever remain in the patient's heart chamber. (She answered jokingly and condescendingly?)
i said to myself. Does that mean the patient will remain in that position FOREVER?? I dare not ask any more questions. I get the vibe that she is annoyed and thinks that my question is stupid... which I suppose it is.
I know that you have to inform the doctor immediately after positioning the patient. But.. what would happen after that?
I still don't get it. I've searched the internet yet discussions end up to positioning only. I think that the turbulence in the heart chamber will break the bubble into tiny pieces for it to be reabsorbed in the lungs. Though I have nothing concrete for this.
Help me understand please. I know I'm missing something crucial. thanks!