air embolism and iv therapy - page 2

is there enough air in the tubing of a peripheral iv to cause an air embolism? how much air is needed to cause an air embolism? would the body be able to absorb the air? For Example: If an... Read More

  1. by   Bug Out
    Quote from plutop
    if you let a iv bag run dry, but do not hang a new bag and saline lock the iv, could there be risk for an air embolism?
    No.

    When the bag empties the bag collapses not allowing anything else to be sucked from an empty bag.

    Besides that the blood pressure of the pt and the hydrostatic pressure pf the fluid do not allow air to enter without an external force.

    Think about this....if you put a straw into a glass fullof water does air start blowing into the glass by itself? Now if you apply an external force such as blowing on the straw then you make bubbles...

    Thats the beauty of bags, built in fail safe, they just collapse and thats that.

    Personally I always flush an IV no matter what I am infusing, even if it was NS, good habit to get into.
  2. by   Jmacmil664
    If A patient is accidently given air in a venous IV what position do you place the patient in and why
  3. by   Asystole RN
    Short answer, Left lateral Trendelenburg.

    Prevent air from traveling through the heart. Look up "Air lock or Vapor lock."



    What you do really depends upon the amount of air, the speed of introduction and the position of the patient. There are several potential fatal complications resulting from an air emboli.



    Things that can go wrong...

    Air lock...typically resulting from a patient sitting upright with a large rapid infusion of air.

    Introducing about 20ml per minute of air overwhelms the lungs ability to filter out the air, could result in inflammation, pulmonary edema, SIRS. Keep in mind IV tubing roughly holds 20ml of air.

    Tiny amounts of air hitting the arteries of the heart can cause arrythmias including Vfib.

    Air can reduce preload leading to cardiovascular collapse.


    P.S. Keep in mind you need 2 things for an air emboli; 1) An access point where air is in contact with an entry point. 2) The pressure of the air has to exceed the venous (or arterial) pressure.

    If the vessel is squirting out, air ain't getting in.
  4. by   evergreen 4ever
    Hi, I was just wondering...if the drip chamber of peripheral line gets too full and you turn the bag upside down and squeeze the drip chamber to force some of the fluid back down into the bag but you forget to close the roller clamp?? is this dangerous?? Can the patient have vae?? please help
  5. by   Asystole RN
    Quote from evergreen 4ever
    Hi, I was just wondering...if the drip chamber of peripheral line gets too full and you turn the bag upside down and squeeze the drip chamber to force some of the fluid back down into the bag but you forget to close the roller clamp?? is this dangerous?? Can the patient have vae?? please help
    Is this a homework question?


    If you accidently introduced air into the IV tubing why would you not close the line, disconnect and reprime?

    It is difficult top answer hypotheticals without detailed background info. In short I doubt it but for a detailed answer please refer to previous posts on the amount of air needed to cause harm.
  6. by   dbmk
    What happened to the patient. I was wondering if you could tell me what you found out about this topic, flipping the IV bag upside down to push some fluid back into the bag while it is running and hooked up to the patient.

    I did an experiment with an IV setup, not hooked to a patient, but just with the IV bag and drip set. I started to flow the fluid and then turned the bag upside down and pushed some of the fluid in the drip chamber back into the bag while it was flowing. I then used a syringe to pull the air from the line into the syringe, and I measured the amount of air in the line which turning the bag upside down caused. It measured 5 plus cc's of air in the syringe taken from the drip set tubing. Turning the bag upside down and pushing some of the fluid back into the bag while it was running made approx. 5 cc's of air infiltrate into the line.

    Can this much bolus of air cause any problems (5 cc's)? Please respond.
  7. by   5326
    i was admitted in the hospital today with iv therapy. night shif staff was not aware of my iv therapy and only i realise it when dry 5 hours later because i was on sedation. what danger do i face
  8. by   JustBeachyNurse
    Quote from 5326
    i was admitted in the hospital today with iv therapy. night shif staff was not aware of my iv therapy and only i realise it when dry 5 hours later because i was on sedation. what danger do i face
    You really need to contact your physician for advice. It is impossible for us to offer medical advice online; there are so many other factors that may affect your outcome. I will say though, the fact that you are online asking this question is definitely a positive sign as clearly your cognitive abilities and ability to type are not affected.
  9. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry, we can't answer medical questions.

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