air embolism

▪ medical disorder
also called  Gas Embolism,  

      blockage of an artery or vein by an air bubble. Air can be introduced into the blood vessels during surgery or traumatic accidents. One type of traumatic embolization occurs when lung tissue is ruptured; bubbles of air pass from the alveoli (air sacs) of the lungs into nearby capillaries and veins. The air bubbles are then carried into the heart, where, if trapped, they can cause myocardial infarction, the destruction of tissue in the heart muscle; usually, however, the air rises to the brain. The consequent blockage of vessels carrying blood to the brain starves this tissue of its vital blood supply. Nervous tissue becomes irreversibly damaged after about five minutes of oxygen and nutritional starvation; convulsions, unconsciousness, respiratory difficulties, and death may ensue.

      Air embolism is one of the most common hazards of underwater diving while breathing compressed air. See also mediastinal emphysema; decompression sickness.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • air embolism — n obstruction of the circulation by air that has gained entrance to veins usu. through wounds compare AEROEMBOLISM * * * an air lock that obstructs the outflow of blood from the right ventricle of the heart. Air may gain access to the circulation …   Medical dictionary

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  • air embolism — noun 1. obstruction of the circulatory system caused by an air bubble as, e.g., accidentally during surgery or hypodermic injection or as a complication from scuba diving • Syn: ↑aeroembolism, ↑gas embolism • Hypernyms: ↑embolism 2. pain… …   Useful english dictionary

  • air embolism — gas bubble disease (supersaturated gases (>115 125%) in water entering the the body fluids of fish causing bubbles, an embolism. Often seen in gills, eyes, skin and yolk sacs where membranes are the most gas permeable. Fish often swim upside down …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • air embolism — an air bubble that obstructs the outflow of blood from the right ventricle of the heart through the lungs. Air may gain access to the circulation as a result of surgery, injury, or intravenous infusions. The patient experiences breathlessness and …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • Эмболия Воздушная (Air Embolism) — воздушная преграда, блокирующая выход крови из правого желудочка сердца. Воздух может перекрывать путь крови в результате хирургического вмешательства, травмы или внутривенных вливаний. Больной испытывает нехватку воздуха и неприятные ощущения в… …   Медицинские термины

  • Embolism — The obstruction of a blood vessel by a foreign substance or a blood clot blocking the vessel. Something travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a vessel and plugs it. Foreign substances that can cause embolism include an air bubble, amniotic… …   Medical dictionary

  • embolism — embolismic, adj. /em beuh liz euhm/, n. 1. Pathol. the occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus. 2. intercalation, as of a day in a year. 3. a period of time intercalated. 4. (in a Eucharistic service) the prayer following the final petitions of …   Universalium

  • embolism — n. the condition in which an embolus becomes lodged in an artery and obstructs its blood flow. The most common form of embolism is pulmonary embolism, in which a blood clot is carried in the circulation to lodge in the pulmonary artery. An… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • embolism — gas bubble disease (supersaturated gases (>115 125%) in water entering the the body fluids of fish causing bubbles, an embolism. Often seen in gills, eyes, skin and yolk sacs where membranes are the most gas permeable. Fish often swim upside down …   Dictionary of ichthyology


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