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February 1982

Primary Mode of Therapy for Gas Embolism

Author Affiliations

San Pablo, Calif

Arch Otolaryngol. 1982;108(2):125. doi:10.1001/archotol.1982.00790500061016

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To the Editor.—In the article entitled "Postoperative Venous Air Embolism After Removal of Neck Drains" in the August 1981 Archives (107:494-496), Chang et al failed to mention the primary mode of therapy for gas embolism. In the most recent committee report of the Undersea Medical Society Inc, February 1981, gas embolism is recognized as a catagory 1 disorder for which hyperbaric oxygen is the primary mode of treatment, and other measures are adjunctive. The Undersea Medical Society Inc believes strongly that the treatment must be initiated during the acute episode. When gas is introduced into the circulation, recompression of the offending bubbles is the sine qua non treatment. Recompression in a hyperbaric chamber is the only definitive form of treatment known. Therefore, I believe that their failure to mention the now recognized primary mode of therapy for this serious condition should not have occurred.

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