Air embolism associated with wounds from a pin-type head-holder

Case report

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✓ A case of intraoperative air embolism during posterior fossa surgery performed with the patient in the sitting position is reported. The entry site was through a comminuted fracture and scalp laceration resulting from faulty application of a pin-type head-holder. The possible role played by a large tension pneumocephalus in the ingress of venous air is also discussed. Simple precautions regarding the use of the pin-type head-holder are suggested to lessen the possibility of air embolism through the puncture wounds.

Article Information

Address reprint requests to: Dachling Pang, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), Department of Neurosurgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 125 DeSoto Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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    Computerized tomography scan several hours after operation, showing the right temporal skull fracture (following debridement and wound closure) and the bifrontal tension pneumocephalus.

References

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