A 50-year-old man suffered lethal air embolism during a carotid endarterectomy performed with the patient under general anesthesia. The embolized air probably gained access to a plastic blood bag when the administration set which drained the bag was changed during transfusion. The air entering a blood bag during venting was measured as a function of the volume of blood remaining. The greatest volume of air measured was 136 ml which was entrapped in a bag holding 200 ml of blood.
Yeakel AE. Lethal Air Embolism From Plastic Blood-Storage Container. JAMA. 1968;204(3):267-269. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140160077026