Although fatal air embolism is a relatively rare catastrophe, the frequent use of air injections in diagnostic and therapeutic measures warrants the report of a severe air embolism with successful outcome.
REPORT OF A CASE
W. H., a white man, aged 36, had had bilateral bronchiectasis since childhood. On Sept. 29, 1951, the lower and middle lobes of the right lung were removed. The lower lobe and the lingula of the upper lobe of the left lung were excised on March 15, 1952. Convalescence following this second operation was rather difficult, the remaining upper lobe of the left lung not expanding fully and the patient being dyspneic and unable satisfactorily to raise the bronchial secretions. A pneumoperitoneum seemed indicated to aid his respiratory function.On March 29 a pneumoperitoneum was attempted, with the use of the Zavod "pneumo" apparatus. The patient was lying in the semi-Fowler position, and the needle
Musgrove JE, MacQuigg RE. SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF AIR EMBOLISM. JAMA. 1952;150(1):28. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.63680010001008