The patient who sustains thoracic trauma can suffer catastrophic air embolism, at any point in his or her hospital course, from treatment in the field, through the emergency room and operating room, to the intensive care unit. In this chapter, I will review the pathophysiology and diagnosis of both venous and arterial air embolism, review the mechanisms of their occurrence in the thoracic trauma patient, and conclude with suggestions for prevention of this devastating complication.
KeywordsLeft Atrial Thoracic Trauma Transesophageal Echocardiogram Interstitial Emphysema Pulmonary Interstitial Emphysema
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