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Never Event #8: Air Embolism

An air embolism is a condition caused by air or gas bubbles in the bloodstream.  The air bubbles may enter the bloodstream during surgery or other medical procedure.  One of the more common sources of air embolism is related to usage of a central venous catheter.

Never Event: Air EmbolismMedical professionals should be aware of the potential complication and use care to prevent air from being introduced when inserting or removing a central venous catheter.  There have been reports that demonstrate an increase in the incidence of air embolisms with the use of fibran sheaths.

Death may occur from air embolisms if the air bubble becomes lodged in the heart.  If a large amount of gas or air is introduced to the body, the air pocket acts as a vapor lock and prevent blood from being circulated.  The amount of air necessary to cause an air embolism is also related to the body positioning and general health of the individual.  The symptoms of a an air embolism are similar to a stroke or heart attack.

If you believe your loved one has experienced an air embolism during a hospital stay or medical procedure, contact experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, today to learn your rights. Lawyers will travel to you.

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