Air Embolism During Posterior Spinal Fusion in a 10-Year-Old Girl: A Case Report

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Abstract

Venous air embolism is a rare but recognized complication of posterior spinal fusion surgery and epidural placement using a loss of resistance to air technique. We report a case of a probable venous air embolism causing cardiac arrest in a 10-year-old girl undergoing posterior spinal fusion in the prone position. The most likely source of the embolism was injection of air into the epidural space from a loss of resistance to air technique. This case also demonstrates the potential for paradoxical cerebral embolism in the absence of an intracardiac defect.

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