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Venous air embolism during operative hysteroscopy

P G Brooks
Journal of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists 1997, 4 (3): 399-402
The world literature, including hospital and medicolegal case records, was reviewed to collate cases of venous air embolism resulting from the increasing number of operative hysteroscopies being performed. Seven women undergoing operative hysteroscopy for five different indications had clear-cut evidence of venous air embolism early in the course of the procedure. Five of these patients died. This complication is rare but devastating, resulting from traumatic opening into large uterine sinuses, especially with the patient in the Trendelenburg position, when the heart is below the level of the uterus. Several steps can be taken to try to prevent this problem.

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