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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Exp 50 years

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Does improper collection of blood through syringes cause air embolism?

Answered by
Dr. Diptanshu Das


Practicing since :2005

Answered : 3803 Questions

Posted on Tue, 13 Sep 2016 in Child Health
Question: Hi Doctor, my son is 1 year and 11 months almost two years old (born on 30-09-2016)
his weight is 11.8kg and his height is 89cm

I took him today for regular check up just to check his growth and if everything is ok, he is otherwise normal and very playful. he was 36 weeks and he had VSD, the NICU doctor that time told us that it's normal and it will probably close. but we haven't checked since then

The doctor we visited today checked on his skeletal and body growth and she said everything is normal, other than flat foot and ribs seem more prominent which she things is due to vitamin D deficiency, so she sent him to do Vitamin D deficiency test.

The part that is worrying me now and that caused me to ask this question here is that, when the nurse was collecting blood from my son , she didn't look very professional and was shaking. she was trying to collect blood from his vein above the elbow, he was very intolerant and was crying a lot.

The issue is that when she was drawing blood from him she used a syringe to pulled out blood but while she was pulling the syringe no blood could drain from him she tried to pull more until the syringe reached to half way with no blood then she let syringe go back and tried again . my worry is that wouldn't this cause air embolism? because wouldn't she probably pulling air since there was no any blood then she let the syringe go, wouldn't that put the pulled air back to the vein? This makes me very worried, she still couldn't draw enough blood and the little blood she collected clotted immediately after she took it out, i asked her to leave it and decided to cancel the test as i couldn't trust her anymore.

my questions

1.could this incident cause air embolism to the body?
2.How long does it take to actually see the effects of air embolism? hours, days ,months or years? far it's been 3 hours since the blood drawing took place, does that mean since there is no effect till now then there is nothing to worry about? there any tests that i can do to see if there is air embolism in the body?

5.what do you suggest?

Answered by Dr. Diptanshu Das 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
No need to worry.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for asking on HealthcareMagic.

I have gone carefully through your query and understand your concerns. Let me assure you that for air embolism to occur a significant amount of air (more than 40–50 ml for a small dog). That would surely have not been the case here. Moreover, when the nurse had drawn the syringe and blood did not come, the empty space in the syringe probably contained vacuum and not air, so pressing it back would actually not have made any difference. Let me try to answer your questions one by one:
1. No.
2. Immediate, without delay.
3. Nothing to worry.
4. No tests.
5. I suggest not to worry.

Stay relaxed.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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