article about emboli

  1. I was participating in an extern program and following a nurse around. She asked me to start an IV and then withdraw blood from the IV site (specimen). While doing so I pushed up a little on the syringe after asking if I could do so, I thought that my help with retrieving the blood, and the nurse stated that I could. This was an IV in the hand. I then started worrying about air emboli/pulmonary emboli so I started doing some research on air emboli/pulmonary emboli and found an article that stated that small amounts of air do not produce symptoms because the air is broken up and absorbed from the circulation. Although classical teaching states that more than 5 mL/kg of air (IV) is required for significant injury (including shock and cardiac arrest), patient complications secondary to as little as 20 mL of air (the length of an unprimed IV infusion set) have been reported. Further, as little as 0.5 mL of air in the left anterior descending coronary artery has been shown to lead to ventricular fibrillation. My question is this .5ml of air they are talking about could this occur from an IV in the hand or is this with central IVs?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    From anywhere. An air bubble can travel from a peripheral site, although it would be unlikely.
  4. by   P_RN
    Here is an article about arterial air embolus from an art-line. It says 2ml is hazardous to a 7 kg macaque.
    So their assumption is more than 2ml would be hazardous to a 70kg human.
    Interesting article. Cerebral Air Embolism Following A Small Volume Of Air Inadvertently Injected Via A Peripheral Arterial Cannula
  5. by   zacarias
    That article is great although it is talking about arterial routes. Venous routes (as in peripheral IVs) are less risky with little amounts of air but no one should every try to TEST this theory or chance it if they feel weird about it.
  6. by   tgb3rn
    Quote from zacarias
    Venous routes (as in peripheral IVs) are less risky with little amounts of air but no one should every try to TEST this theory or chance it if they feel weird about it.

    The bad thing is you felt you needed to say that.:spin: I could just see some one reading this thread and then going to test it on one of thier Pt's.
    No insult intended to anyone directly, but there are some STUPID people out there, even us nurses.
  7. by   jk78
    I did not mean to emply for anyone to try this, I just was concerned about what I was told to do, I will never do this again and I do not recommend anyone doing that. I wanted to know if I could have caused any harm. It was for my peace of mind.
  8. by   augigi
    Quote from tgb3rn
    The bad thing is you felt you needed to say that.:spin: I could just see some one reading this thread and then going to test it on one of thier Pt's.
    No insult intended to anyone directly, but there are some STUPID people out there, even us nurses.
    Actual I think she meant "no one should ever try this".

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