Hello, I hope someone can help me with this question. I am a nursing student and it's been bothering me for a long time. What happens to air that enters the blood stream through a peripheral IV? I understand how the air can become an embolism, but my question is related to the scientific or physiologic mechanism that happens in the body that prevents complications. I have seen many air bubbles enter through PIVs and the people are fine. I just wonder, what really happens to the bubbles once in the body?
*Does the air bubble get absorbed somehow in the body? If so, how? Or, how does the body get rid of the small bubbles?
I've read in other forums that the lungs filter the bubbles but I don't understand exactly how, since I thought the blood stays separate from actual air in the alveoli. And also, the bubble would have to pass the right heart before getting to the lungs.
I would appreciate any explanation! Thank you!