Why does a bubble in a bloodstream cause your body to go haywire?

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Why does a bubble in a bloodstream cause your body to go haywire?

In: 78

Put air in an oil line and see what the pump does… Same concept.

It can create a situation where the blood no longer flows correctly. No blood, no oxygen (or nutrients/energy/cleaning).

The problem? Squeezing gas along is a hell of a lot more work than liquid. Squeeze a liquid it forces itself along is doesn’t compress in actual volume much at all, gas/air however does.

Now as long as the gas is fully pushed by the liquid it works fine (see big vessels), but if it gets to a point where compression is doing the majority of the driving work, or where the liquid has another path and the bubble fills a path this creates a problem especially in smaller, higher resistance paths.

You may have heard of bleeding a pump – that is the process to remove air.

The route of the problem though – gases compress in volume you may as well consider that liquids don’t.

Air bubbles can freely travel through large blood vessels but eventually, the vessels get narrower and narrower. The air bubble will eventually get stuck in smaller vessels, blocking blood flow to wherever the vessel delivers blood. This is known as an air embolism.

If the blockage is in the brain, lungs, or heart, the effects can be deadly. Blockages elsewhere can still cause damage from the lack of blood.

I once got sick when on vacation. (Diarrhea, vomiting.) Part of the treatment at the Dr office was a fluid IV. But…. the Dr and the nurse were not careful and I could see bubbles in the tube. I pointed it out to them and they flicked the tube and messed with it a bit and still had bubbles. They didn’t offer to do anything different. (There were like…. three.) I said….. “That’s OK, I don’t need the IV. Can you remove it, please?” and noped out of there.

Imagine your blood as a tube full of marbles. Imagine the heart as pushing on those marbles.

Now imagine taking one of the marbles out and replacing it with a small balloon (an air bubble).

It should be easy to envisage how this will reduce the effectiveness of pusing the blood around. There will simply be less force on everything after the balloon, because the balloon can squish. Marbles (just like blood) can’t squish.

Paramedic here-I’ve had this convo with an interventional cardiologist after he purposely foamed up some blood and injected it into cath line…

He said that he did that so that he could see the blood flow (bubbles show on the Xray video)through the heart. He explained that the air bubbles will dissipate as they pass through the lungs and that it would need to be a fairly large volume of air to cause any problems.

In order to cause any problems, there would need to be a large volume of air in a standard IV line, like more than 20 inches, injected into a vein…a few bubbles isn’t going to hurt in a vein. It would cause a problem in an arterial line, though. I don’t think art lines are going to be in place very often in a non-hospital setting

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Why does a bubble in a bloodstream cause your body to go haywire?

In: 78

Put air in an oil line and see what the pump does… Same concept.

It can create a situation where the blood no longer flows correctly. No blood, no oxygen (or nutrients/energy/cleaning).

The problem? Squeezing gas along is a hell of a lot more work than liquid. Squeeze a liquid it forces itself along is doesn’t compress in actual volume much at all, gas/air however does.

Now as long as the gas is fully pushed by the liquid it works fine (see big vessels), but if it gets to a point where compression is doing the majority of the driving work, or where the liquid has another path and the bubble fills a path this creates a problem especially in smaller, higher resistance paths.

You may have heard of bleeding a pump – that is the process to remove air.

The route of the problem though – gases compress in volume you may as well consider that liquids don’t.

Air bubbles can freely travel through large blood vessels but eventually, the vessels get narrower and narrower. The air bubble will eventually get stuck in smaller vessels, blocking blood flow to wherever the vessel delivers blood. This is known as an air embolism.

If the blockage is in the brain, lungs, or heart, the effects can be deadly. Blockages elsewhere can still cause damage from the lack of blood.

I once got sick when on vacation. (Diarrhea, vomiting.) Part of the treatment at the Dr office was a fluid IV. But…. the Dr and the nurse were not careful and I could see bubbles in the tube. I pointed it out to them and they flicked the tube and messed with it a bit and still had bubbles. They didn’t offer to do anything different. (There were like…. three.) I said….. “That’s OK, I don’t need the IV. Can you remove it, please?” and noped out of there.

Imagine your blood as a tube full of marbles. Imagine the heart as pushing on those marbles.

Now imagine taking one of the marbles out and replacing it with a small balloon (an air bubble).

It should be easy to envisage how this will reduce the effectiveness of pusing the blood around. There will simply be less force on everything after the balloon, because the balloon can squish. Marbles (just like blood) can’t squish.

Paramedic here-I’ve had this convo with an interventional cardiologist after he purposely foamed up some blood and injected it into cath line…

He said that he did that so that he could see the blood flow (bubbles show on the Xray video)through the heart. He explained that the air bubbles will dissipate as they pass through the lungs and that it would need to be a fairly large volume of air to cause any problems.

In order to cause any problems, there would need to be a large volume of air in a standard IV line, like more than 20 inches, injected into a vein…a few bubbles isn’t going to hurt in a vein. It would cause a problem in an arterial line, though. I don’t think art lines are going to be in place very often in a non-hospital setting