Air embolism physical examination

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

Patients with an air embolism usually appear distressed and can have symptoms from various different organ systems.

Physical Examination

  • Patients with air embolism usually appear distressed.
  • Physical examination may be remarkable for:
  • Cardiovascular Findings:[1] [2]
    • Arrythmias
    • Murmmurs
    • Jugular venous distension
    • Hypotension
    • ST and T wave changes
    • Pulmonary arterial hypertension
    • Increased central venous pressure
    • Shock and cardiovascular collapse
  • Respiratory Findings:[3][4]
    • Rales/ wheezing
    • Tachypnea
    • Hemoptysis
    • Cyanosis
    • Decreased End Tidal Co2
    • Hypercapnia
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Apnea
  • Central Nervous System Findings:[5][6]
    • Altered mental status
    • Seizures
    • Focal neurological deficits
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Coma

References

  1. Marek A. Mirski, Abhijit Vijay Lele, Lunei Fitzsimmons & Thomas J. K. Toung (2007). "Diagnosis and treatment of vascular air embolism". Anesthesiology. 106 (1): 164–177. PMID 17197859. 
  2. S. L. Orebaugh (1992). "Venous air embolism: clinical and experimental considerations". Critical care medicine. 20 (8): 1169–1177. PMID 1643897. 
  3. Marek A. Mirski, Abhijit Vijay Lele, Lunei Fitzsimmons & Thomas J. K. Toung (2007). "Diagnosis and treatment of vascular air embolism". Anesthesiology. 106 (1): 164–177. PMID 17197859. 
  4. S. L. Orebaugh (1992). "Venous air embolism: clinical and experimental considerations". Critical care medicine. 20 (8): 1169–1177. PMID 1643897. 
  5. Marek A. Mirski, Abhijit Vijay Lele, Lunei Fitzsimmons & Thomas J. K. Toung (2007). "Diagnosis and treatment of vascular air embolism". Anesthesiology. 106 (1): 164–177. PMID 17197859. 
  6. S. L. Orebaugh (1992). "Venous air embolism: clinical and experimental considerations". Critical care medicine. 20 (8): 1169–1177. PMID 1643897. 



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