Gas Embolism

Muth CM, Shank ES. Gas embolism. N Engl J Med. 2000 Feb 17;342(7):476-82. Review.


Gas embolism, the entry of gas into vascular structures, is a largely iatrogenic clinical problem that can result in serious morbidity and even death.1 Since gas embolism can result from procedures performed in almost all clinical specialties (Table 1), it is important for all clinicians to be aware of this problem. In most cases, gas embolism is air embolism, although the medical use of other gases, such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and nitrogen, can also result in the condition. There are two broad categories of gas embolism, venous and arterial, which are distinguished by the mechanism of gas entry . . .

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