Cerebral air embolism following the removal of a central venous catheter in the absence of intracardiac right-to-left shunting

Da Hae Eum, Seung Hwan Lee, Hyung Won Kim, Myung Jae Jung, Jae Gil Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Air embolism following central venous catheter (CVC) removal is a relatively uncommon complication. Despite its rare occurrence, an air embolism can lead to serious outcomes. One of the most fatal complications is cerebral air embolism. We report a case of cerebral air embolism that occurred after the removal of a CVC in a patient with an underlying idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, and a possible intrapulmonary shunt. Although the patient had a brief period of recovery, his condition deteriorated again, and retention of carbon dioxide was sustained due to aggravation of pneumonia. Despite full coverage of antibiotics and maximum care with the ventilator, the patient died about 5 weeks after the removal of the CVC. We suggest that strict compliance to protocols is required even while removing the catheter. Furthermore, additional caution to avoid air embolism is demanded in high-risk patients, such as in this case.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere630
JournalMedicine (United States)
Volume94
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Apr 6

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Intracranial Embolism
Air Embolism
Central Venous Catheters
Subcutaneous Emphysema
Guideline Adherence
Mediastinal Emphysema
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Mechanical Ventilators
Carbon Dioxide
Pneumonia
Catheters
Anti-Bacterial Agents

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Air embolism following central venous catheter (CVC) removal is a relatively uncommon complication. Despite its rare occurrence, an air embolism can lead to serious outcomes. One of the most fatal complications is cerebral air embolism. We report a case of cerebral air embolism that occurred after the removal of a CVC in a patient with an underlying idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, and a possible intrapulmonary shunt. Although the patient had a brief period of recovery, his condition deteriorated again, and retention of carbon dioxide was sustained due to aggravation of pneumonia. Despite full coverage of antibiotics and maximum care with the ventilator, the patient died about 5 weeks after the removal of the CVC. We suggest that strict compliance to protocols is required even while removing the catheter. Furthermore, additional caution to avoid air embolism is demanded in high-risk patients, such as in this case.",
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Cerebral air embolism following the removal of a central venous catheter in the absence of intracardiac right-to-left shunting. / Eum, Da Hae; Lee, Seung Hwan; Kim, Hyung Won; Jung, Myung Jae; Lee, Jae Gil.

In: Medicine (United States), Vol. 94, No. 13, e630, 06.04.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Lee, Jae Gil

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AB - Air embolism following central venous catheter (CVC) removal is a relatively uncommon complication. Despite its rare occurrence, an air embolism can lead to serious outcomes. One of the most fatal complications is cerebral air embolism. We report a case of cerebral air embolism that occurred after the removal of a CVC in a patient with an underlying idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, subcutaneous emphysema, pneumomediastinum, and a possible intrapulmonary shunt. Although the patient had a brief period of recovery, his condition deteriorated again, and retention of carbon dioxide was sustained due to aggravation of pneumonia. Despite full coverage of antibiotics and maximum care with the ventilator, the patient died about 5 weeks after the removal of the CVC. We suggest that strict compliance to protocols is required even while removing the catheter. Furthermore, additional caution to avoid air embolism is demanded in high-risk patients, such as in this case.

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