Air embolism: Practical tips for prevention and treatment

Colin J. McCarthy, Sasan Behravesh, Sailendra G. Naidu, Rahmi Oklu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Air embolism is a rarely encountered but much dreaded complication of surgical procedures that can cause serious harm, including death. Cases that involve the use of endovascular techniques have a higher risk of air embolism; therefore, a heightened awareness of this complication is warranted. In particular, central venous catheters and arterial catheters that are often placed and removed in most hospitals by a variety of medical practitioners are at especially high risk for air embolism. With appropriate precautions and techniques it can be preventable. This article reviews the causes of air embolism, clinical management and prevention techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number93
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Air embolism
  • Catheter
  • Embolization
  • Endovascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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