Recognition And Treatment Of Hypoxia Secondary To Venous Air Embolism

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



A 79-year-old male presented for a left parietal craniotomy and meningioma resection. During dural exposure, the patient’s SpO2 and EtCO2 both dropped suddenly. The surgeon was promptly notified and he flooded the field with saline while we increased our oxygen and flows and placed the patient in trendelenburg position. An ABG drawn at the time revealed a PCO2 of 53 while the EtCO2 reading was 27; a gradient suggesting an increase in dead space secondary to venous air embolism. We will discuss the mechanism of dead space secondary to VAE, clinical presentation and management.


American Society of Anesthesiology Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 21-25, 2022.