What are the cardiovascular signs of venous air embolism (VAE)?

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

Cardiovascular signs include the following

  • Dysrhythmias (tachyarrhythmias/bradycardias)
  • "Mill wheel" murmur - A temporary loud, machinerylike, churning sound due to blood mixing with air in the right ventricle, best heard over the precordium (a late sign) [2, 11, 15]
  • JVD
  • Hypotension
  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Nonspecific ST-segment and T-wave changes and/or evidence of right heart strain [1, 2, 37]
  • Pulmonary artery hypertension
  • Increased CVP
  • Circulatory shock/cardiovascular collapse

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