[abstract] FATAL DIVING-RELATED ARTERIAL GAS EMBOLISM ASSOCIATED WITH COMPLETE FILLING OF THE CENTRAL VASCULAR BED.

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[abstract] FATAL DIVING-RELATED ARTERIAL GAS EMBOLISM ASSOCIATED WITH COMPLETE FILLING OF THE CENTRAL VASCULAR BED.

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Title: [abstract] FATAL DIVING-RELATED ARTERIAL GAS EMBOLISM ASSOCIATED WITH COMPLETE FILLING OF THE CENTRAL VASCULAR BED.
Author: Neuman, TS; Jacoby, I; Olson, L
Abstract: Major textbooks of diving medicine generally invoke either lethal reflex arrhythmias secondary to brain stem embolization or fatal arrhythmias secondary to coronary artery embolization as the mechanism of sudden cardiac arrest in cases of barotraumatic arterial gas embolism (AGE). There exist however, case reports which would suggest filling of the central vascular bed (Le. the heart, pulmonary arteries, aorta, and great vessels to the head and neck) may playa role in the pathogenesis of sudden death in victims of AGE. We report here three consecutive cases of fatal AGE where chest roentgenograms were taken during the resuscitation effort or in the immediate post-mortem period. In each case the radiographic findings of confluent air lucencies filling the central vascular bed, the heart (pneumocardium), and the great vessels to the head and arms were found on chest roentgenography. In two cases air lucencies were noted in the liver as well. Recompression therapy was not attempted in any of the victims nor was the depth time profile of the victims extensive enough to suggest these large volumes of intravascular gas were created as a decompression artifact. (Case #1; 90 FSW/20 min, Case #2; 40 FSW/40 min, Case #3; 17 FSW/9 min). In none of the victims was there evidence by history or at autopsy that the intravascular gas was iatrogenically introduced. We postulate that gas induced occlusion of the central vascular bed is a mechanism of sudden death in some victims of AGE. Whether this is the primary mechanism of death in most cases remains unproved and requires further study.
Description: Abstract of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. Annual Scientific Meeting held June 22-26, 1994. Westin Hotel, Denver, Colorado (http://www.uhms.org)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/5775
Date: 1994

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  • UHMS Meeting Abstracts
    This is a collection of the published abstracts from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) annual meetings.

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