Air embolism

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In health care, an air embolism is "blocking of a blood vessel by air bubbles that enter the circulatory system, usually after trauma; surgical procedures, or changes in atmospheric pressure."[1][2] Air embolism may occur after removal of central venous catheterization.[3]


Place the patient in one of the following positions that will cause the air to move to a nonobstructing position in the right ventrical:

  • Left lateral decubitus position (Durant's maneuver)
  • Trendelenburg position


  1. Anonymous (2022), Air embolism (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Muth CM, Shank ES (2000). "Gas embolism.". N Engl J Med 342 (7): 476-82. PMID 10675429.
  3. Pronovost PJ, Wu AW, Sexton JB (2004). "Acute decompensation after removing a central line: practical approaches to increasing safety in the intensive care unit.". Ann Intern Med 140 (12): 1025-33. PMID 15197020.