ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Massive air embolism during cardiopulmonary bypass
Osman Tiryakioğlu, Yusuf Ata, Şenol Yavuz
Bursa Yüksek İhtisas Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi Kalp ve Damar Cerrahisi Kliniği, Bursa
Massive arterial air embolism during cardiopulmonary bypass is one of the most serious complications of open cardiac operations. We report a 54-year-old male patient in whom massive air embolism occurred on the arterial cannulation line immediately after the initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass operation. The pump was stopped immediately and the patient was placed in the deep Trendelenburg position and the arterial cannulation line was disconnected. Retrograde cerebral perfusion was performed for five minutes at a flow rate of 0.5 l/min through superior vena cava cannulation. Massive air return was drained out from the aortic cannulation site. The standard bypass procedure was resumed and a triple coronary bypass grafting was performed. Postoperatively, the patient had no neurologic sequelae and was discharged without complications. Every surgical team should be well prepared for the likelihood of such a catastrophic complication during routine cardiac operations.
Keywords : Cardiopulmonary bypass/adverse effects; embolism, air/therapy; intraoperative complications/therapy
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