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CASE REPORT
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 176-178

Massive air embolism while removing a central venous catheter


1 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea
2 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea
3 Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, School of Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University, Jeju, Korea

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Jaechun Lee
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju National University, 102 Jejudaehak.ro, Jeju 63243
Korea
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJCIIS.IJCIIS_14_18

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Air embolism is a rare but mostly iatrogenic complication of medical or surgical procedures and may have a serious outcome. On the removal of a central venous catheter (CVC), minor carelessness can lead to a venous air embolism sometimes accompanied by arterial embolism. We experienced the case of a 61-year-old male who suffered from a paradoxical systemic air embolism while we removed a CVC. Immediate resuscitation and venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support saved his life. Multiple end-organ damage related to the systemic air embolism was noted, including the kidney, liver, and brain. In echocardiography, multiple air bubbles and an atrial septal defect were observed. An air embolism is preventable with appropriate precautions and techniques. Therefore, it is important to identify errors and prevent occurrence.


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