Remaining Vigilant to Paradoxical Air Embolism in Patients Undergoing Hysteroscopic Surgery: A Case Report and Review of the Literature (1.25 CH – DC)

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Authors: Kun Han, MD, Man-Qiu Huang, RN, Xi Deng, MD, Yu-chao Shang, MD
The purpose of this case study and review was to understand the perianesthestic care of paradoxical air embolism (PAE) in patients undergoing hysteroscopic surgery. The perianesthestic management record of a patient undergoing hysteroscopic surgery was analyzed to study the characteristics of PAE, and the literature describing the perianesthestic care for PAE was reviewed. The first symptom of PAE in hysteroscopic surgery is often a decrease in end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2), and the complications include embolism of the pulmonary artery, coronary artery, and cerebral artery. The best monitoring method is continuous ETCO2 monitoring, and intraoperative echocardiography is an excellent method to diagnose and guide the treatment of PAE. PAE is a rare but serious complication of hysteroscopic surgery that is associated with organ ischemia and hypoxia. Prevention and treatment of PAE requires the vigilance and cooperation of not only perianesthesia nurses and anesthesiologists but also the surgeons and operating room nurses. Early prevention, proper monitoring, and effective treatment are the keys to successful rescue for PAE.

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