What are the preconditions for venous air embolism (VAE) to occur?

Updated: Dec 30, 2017
  • Author: Brenda L Natal, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

The following two preconditions must exist for VAE to occur [4, 17] :

  • Direct communication between a source of air and the vasculature
  • Pressure gradient favoring the passage of air into the circulation

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