[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
March 15, 1971

Hyperbaric Treatment of Cerebral Air Embolism During Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital, Buffalo, and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine. Dr. Winter is now with the Department of Anesthesia, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

JAMA. 1971;215(11):1786-1788. doi:10.1001/jama.1971.03180240036006

Hyperbaric treatment was used in three patients with extensive neurologic damage from massive cerebral air embolism occurring during cardiopulmonary bypass. Exposure to high pressure (6 atmospheres absolute) was followed by prolonged decompression over a period of 38 hours. All patients began to respond during compression, and improvement continued later. In two patients eventual recovery was complete, and there were no signs of cerebral damage. The third patient may yet make a full recovery.