So I was searching how much air could actually be fatal to a patient and some say an unprimed IV line could actually cause embolism.
I just had my baby a couple of months ago and during labor, they had to start an IV on me. I was in so much pain and couldnt really think straight. I have nothing against my RN coz she did her job so well, except for the fact that she forgot to prime the tube. (SHe's been a L&D nurse for 15+ years). I was on gas but I could vividly remember that incident. I thought she primed the tube already before running the line on @ maybe 150-200/hr, but when she opened the line I swear, I could feel bubbles coming in to my veins going up my left arm. Drugged and groggy as I was, I tried to reach for the roller clamp to slow it down but she confronted me and told me not to touch it!
At that point, I was already hoping for the worst, I was thinking I could go into an arrest anytime so I just tried to lay on my side. A few minutes later I was coughing, in my mind I thought, maybe this is it! Ima go into a cardiac arrest! The coughing continued for a good 5-10 mins maybe until the anesth came to put the epidural cath on.
Thank God nothing serious really happened. I was so scared for myself. I was told in nursing school never, EVER ever have an inch of air in the line. And I have frequently dealt with patients asking me to withdraw even a small dot of air in their IV tube. Sometimes I have to flick even the tiniest amount of air up to the chamber. Imagine my scare when an unprimed IV line was run on myself!