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Massive air embolism from continuous venovenous haemofiltration causing electromechanical dissociation in a cardiac surgical patient

journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-01, 05:07 authored by L Ku, L Weinberg, S Seevanayagam, Ian BaldwinIan Baldwin, H Opdam, L Doolan
Venous air embolism is a rare but life-threatening complication of continuous venovenous haemofiltration. We report a case of massive venous air embolism associated with haemofiltration in a 75-year-old man after complicated cardiac surgery. Haemofiltration circuitry and air detector alarms are not infallible and air embolism should be considered in patients receiving such therapy who develop cardiopulmonary instability. We discuss our early intervention, which focused on restoration of the circulation, prevention of further air entry, retrieval of air and supportive care. The use of transoesophageal echocardiography for diagnosis of air embolism and to aid the insertion of a pulmonary artery catheter for air aspiration was essential for management.

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Journal

Critical Care and Resuscitation

Volume

14

Pagination

154 - 158

ISSN

1441-2772

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