I was just wondering if an air embolism can cause a pulmonary embolism. Is PE strictly a blood clot? Can air in a central line cause a PE, or only an air embolism? Would the symptoms be evident immediately, or would there be a delay?
Yes, air embolism can cause pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism can be caused by a blood clot, air, fatty deposits, a parasite, or septic thrombus. Air in a central line can cause pulmonary air embolism only if there is large amount of air. Smaller amounts of air can be dissolved in the blood. The symptoms occur very quickly (not more then 10 minutes afterward).
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