Chitta R. Mohanty1, Suma R. Ahmad2, Mantu Jain3, Bhavna Sriramka4

1Department of Trauma & Emergency, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, 751019, India
2Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, 751019, India
3Department of Orthopaedics, AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, 751019, India
4Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, IMS & SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, 751003, India

Keywords: Air embolism, External jugular veinIntravenous cannula, Vigilance


Introduction: Venous air embolism is a catastrophic complication that can result in sudden cardiac arrest and death. Massive air embolism has been reported with central venous catheter through the internal jugular and subclavian veins. Though external jugular vein is a potential site of an air embolism to cardiac chambers and subsequently to vital organs such as brain, heart and lungs but has not been reported yet in literature.

Case presentation: We are reporting a case of sudden pulmonary air embolism in a patient through the open hub of an intravenous cannula, vigilant monitoring and timely action saved the patient from a catastrophic outcome.

Conclusion: We recommend vigilant monitoring and adequate precaution in patients with external jugular venous cannulation in the operation theater, intensive care unit or wards to prevent iatrogenic complications.