airembolism

Posted
by mehwan mehwan (New) New

:balloons: Hello! all nurses!!

About airembolism..when you do iv canullaton, are you aware of air is going to the vein ??? or from the drip to the vein? In nursing school I was taught air mustn't be going to the blood.It causes short of breath,thrombolisis...?? Dose anybody know about the airembolism's theory???Please tell me....

RN4NICU

RN4NICU, LPN, LVN

Has 15 years experience. 1,711 Posts

A pulmonologist once told me that it takes a pretty significant amount of air in the line to cause an air embolism in an adult (probably several cc's all at once). Little bubbles aren't going to do it. This is unlikely during cannulation because blood is flowing out of the vein under pressure - or pressure is being held to occlude the vein. Once the tubing is connected and the IVF is running, there is no air going into the vein, the tubing and bag are airtight. Now if the tubing were not primed with fluid and someone hooked up the empty tubing to the IV, then spiked the bag, letting the fluid force the air in - then, yes, it could cause a problem.

Just wanted to add that Medline's estimate for the amount of air necessary to cause venous air embolism is 3-8cc/kg). That is a very significant amount of air. It would be more likely to occur with an open chest trauma or during the placement/discontinuation of a CENTRAL venous line.

http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic787.htm

zacarias

zacarias, ASN, RN

Specializes in tele, stepdown/PCU, med/surg. Has 14 years experience. 1,338 Posts

:balloons: Hello! all nurses!!

About airembolism..when you do iv canullaton, are you aware of air is going to the vein ??? or from the drip to the vein? In nursing school I was taught air mustn't be going to the blood.It causes short of breath,thrombolisis...?? Dose anybody know about the airembolism's theory???Please tell me....

Like the other poster said, it takes a LOT of air to cause an air embolism. A huge pocket of air would be needed in the heart chambers to prevent blood from pumping. Now if a patient has a septal defect that is large, a person is at higher risk for stroke.

moia

moia

135 Posts

It some tests to detect heart defects we actually forcefully inject air bubbles into the patient to see if they cross the chambers...you would have to run the entire length of the IV tubing full of air into the patient before you saw any symptoms and even then it's pretty rare...funny the things they terrorize nursing students about...and they spend an hour on handwashing..the single biggest threat to the patient is unwashed hands.

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