Too Much Air Can Be Deadly
I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove Personal Injury Lawyer. Air is required to power the various cells and tissues in the body. However, too much air or air in the wrong place can actually be deadly. Air has the potential to get in the way of flowing blood, causing a clot just like any other substance. One example of a dangerous clot is an embolism.
An embolism is a material that moves and gets stuck inside of a blood vessel, typically an artery. Many different types of content can clog a blood vessel, but most emboli are made of fat, air, or foreign material. This is a dangerous vascular phenomenon because it can obstruct the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to organs and tissues. In some cases, emboli can actually be placed in a specific location for therapeutic reasons. For example, a trained healthcare professional may intentionally put an embolus somewhere to stop the flow of blood to an area of cancer or to stop bleeding at a specific location in the body. Depending on the type of embolism and the place, there are different signs and symptoms that someone may notice. For example, a pulmonary embolism is a clot that forms in one or more of the pulmonary arteries. A patient may feel a rapid heart rate, chest pain, pain that gets worse with breathing, and sweating. This constitutes a medical emergency and could result in someone’s death.
Where do Emboli Come From?
An embolism is a foreign clot that gets lodged in a blood vessel, obstructing blood flow to tissues and organs. The symptoms will vary depending on the location of the embolism. There are many different ways that an embolism can develop, including:
- Fat Embolism: This is one of the most common ways that an embolism can develop. People who suffer serious injuries, particularly bone fractures, are especially prone to developing fat emboli. When a large bone such as the femur breaks, the open bone can release many of its contents into the bloodstream. This includes the bone marrow that typically lives inside the bone and makes new blood cells. These products are released into the bloodstream and can flow to other areas of the body. These fatty contents can block the flow of blood in these blood vessels, making people particularly ill.
- Air Embolism: This is another common type of embolism. Air is essential for life, however, in the bloodstream, oxygen travels by attaching to hemoglobin molecules within red blood cells. If a free pocket of air winds up in the bloodstream, it has the potential to obstruct the flow of blood just as any other substance. There are many ways that air can enter the bloodstream, including lacerations from slip and fall injuries, pedestrian injuries or assault injuries.
A recent case report was published describing how an air embolism can even lead to a heart attack, which could cause wrongful death.
Case Study: Cardiac Air Embolism
A group of physicians recently published a case study describing an individual who developed an air embolism leading to cardiac arrest. A young man was driving on a road when he was involved in an accident with a truck. His car flipped multiple times, shattering his windshield. Emergency personnel was quickly called to the scene and examined the young man. Initially, he was deemed to be medically stable, however, shortly after the first responders arrived, the man went into cardiac arrest. He required resuscitation and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. The doctors found that the man had an air embolism that entered his bloodstream and traveled to his heart where it obstructed the flow of blood through the coronary arteries, leading to a heart attack.
Help from a Lawyer
This case study demonstrates that a car accident can lead to severe and unusual medical ailments which could easily be missed on an initial examination. Therefore, it is crucial for every crash to be thoroughly reviewed by a trained lawyer to ensure that nothing has been missed on the first pass. People with questions about their injuries and about the circumstances of their accident should consider speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer to go over all of the options regarding their case.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Elk Grove
I’m Ed Smith, an Elk Grove Personal Injury Lawyer. Car accidents have the potential to cause dangerous medical conditions. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident, call me at (916) 694-0002 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am happy to be a part of the California chapter of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can view our verdicts and settlements cases.
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