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Air embolism in the brain a 42-year-old man with leukemia and fungal pneumonia (panel A) with was in a respirator after acute respiratory failure. Suddenly he coughed up blood and went into cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated, but CT-scan (panel B) showed a large amount of air in the blood vessels of the brain (air embolism). Cardiac resuscitation and mechanical ventilation (perhaps combined with the lung infection) were the likely cause of the air embolism in this patient.

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Radiology of air embolism following a stab to the neck (via Iodex Critical Imaging Technology).

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Q: I heard a lot about air embolism during my certification class. What causes it, and how can it be avoided?

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