Low Consciousness in a Patient with Venous Air Embolism Introduced via Peripheral Vascular Cannulation
KeywordsAir embolism, intravenous, peripheral cannulation, iatrogenic
Introduction: Venous air embolism is rarely seen, can be fatal and is associated mostly with large central venous catheters and mechanical ventilation. Some cases due to peripheral intravenous access have also been reported.
Case Description: We present a case of intracranial venous air embolism most likely secondary to peripheral cannulation. On admission, the patient was drowsy with a suddenly deteriorating Glasgow coma scale score. This case emphasizes cautious cannula insertion and close monitoring of the patient in the event of complications.
Conclusion: Intravenous cannulation is common but care should be taken to avoid catastrophic complications. Consider air embolism as the differential diagnosis if a patient has a low level of consciousness after an intravenous cannula is inserted.
Issue: 2021: Vol 8 No 12 (view)