Lee-Archer PF, Chaseling B. Air Embolism During Posterior Spinal Fusion in a 10-Year-Old Girl: A Case Report. A A Case Rep. 2017 Jun 1;8(11):307-309. doi: 10.1213/XAA.0000000000000498.
Venous air embolism is a rare but recognized complication of posterior spinal fusion surgery and epidural placement using a loss of resistance to air technique. We report a case of a probable venous air embolism causing cardiac arrest in a 10-year-old girl undergoing posterior spinal fusion in the prone position. The most likely source of the embolism was injection of air into the epidural space from a loss of resistance to air technique. This case also demonstrates the potential for paradoxical cerebral embolism in the absence of an intracardiac defect.