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Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Anesthesia and Pain Medicine 2010;5(2):142-145.
Published online April 30, 2010.
Air embolism during anesthesia in the beach chair position for shoulder surgery: A case report
Hyung Tae Kim, Kwang Yong Kim, Il Bong Park, Myeong Jong Lee
1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju, Korea.
2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Chungju Hospital, School of Medicine, Konkuk University, Chungju, Korea.
A 60-year-old man was scheduled for elective right shoulder surgery. The patient was placed in the beach chair position. A venous air embolism was suspected because of a sudden decrease in the end-tidal carbon dioxide concentration, hypoxemia, tachycardia, and hypotension 5 mins after a stab incision in the surgical site. We inserted a central venous access catheter and provided hemodynamic support and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but the patient died. We present this case to make surgeons and anesthesiologists aware of the possibility of air embolism during shoulder surgery in the beach chair position.
Key Words: Air embolism, Embolism

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