Air embolism is a preventable hospital-acquired infection that can result in serious damage or death. Air can enter the venous circulation in a hospital setting in a variety of methods, including surgery, pain management, diagnostic procedures, hemoperfusion, and air via intravenous infusion therapy. For healthcare practitioners, technical measures such as the use of degassing filters are critical in preventing vascular air embolism (VAE).
The INS issued the following guidelines for the use of intravenous (IV) in-line filters in 2021:
- To minimize air-entrained microbubbles (diameter 1 mm) in infusions and drugs, consider filtering solutions and pharmaceuticals.
- To prevent air and particles from entering the arterial circulation, all patients whose medical diagnosis requires bypassing the heart or lungs from right to left utilize degassing filters for infusion.
The Alfa Chemistry IV in-line filter's hydrophobic exhaust membrane effectively removes any air that may be entrained in the infusion, preventing air embolism in the patient's body. Our filter can remove entrained air in both vertical and horizontal positions, according to research. Learn more about air embolism and in-line filters in the sections below.
Vascular Air Embolism
Air embolism, also known as gas embolism, is a hospital-acquired condition that can result in significant damage and even death. An air embolism happens when one or more bubbles enter a vein or artery and stop it.
- A venous air embolism occurs when air bubbles enter a vein (VAE).
- Arterial air embolism occurs when air bubbles enter the artery.
Venous air embolism occurs when two requirements are met: the air source is directly connected to the vascular system, and the pressure gradient enables the entry of air into the blood.
Pathology and Clinical Manifestations of Vascular Air Embolism
Basically, two key factors determine the morbidity and mortality of VAE: air entrainment and accumulation rate.
How much air is deadly? Case reports of accidental intravascular air delivery in humans describe the lethal dose as 200 to 300 ml, or 3-5 ml/kg. Other case reports indicate that rapid air intake of 20 ml or less can cause fatal embolism. Generally speaking, air volumes greater than 50 mL are considered potentially lethal.
Clinical manifestations of air embolism
Depending on the air velocity and amount of air entrainment, VAE can affect the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological systems. The sudden bolus dose may trigger cardiovascular failure quickly, whereas the gradual accumulation may go unnoticed.
Our IV Online Filtration Solution
Adults, children, and newborn patients all benefit from our deaeration filters, which keep air out of their circulatory systems. Alfa Chemistry filters can remove entrained air in both vertical and horizontal locations, according to internal studies. To limit the risk of air embolism, we recommend that you employ online filtration as a preventive method.
- Air microbubbles (diameter 1 mm) are reduced using solutions and medications.
- It is appropriate for all patients with paradoxical embolism, a medical condition that entails shunting the heart or lungs from right to left to prevent air and particles from entering the arterial circulation.
- It's utilized in parenteral nutrition (PN) administration to limit the risk of particles, micro-precipitates, germs, and air embolism harming the patient.