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Diving and hyperbaric medicine

Cerebral air embolism after pleural streptokinase instillation.


PMID 24510333

Abstract

Iatrogenic pulmonary barotrauma and cerebral arterial gas embolism (CAGE) may complicate a variety of medical procedures, such as certain types of surgery, drug administration through thoracic drainage, pneumoperitoneum, cystoscopy, bronchoscopy, etc. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment following the guidelines for CAGE in diving is the treatment of choice. Pleural streptokinase instillation is a common treatment for parapneumonic pleural effusion and may lead to CAGE. We present such a complication in a 79-year-old woman with a left-sided empyema. Neurological recovery was reasonable, but a left hemiparesis persisted. Prompt treatment of CAGE is necessary to avoid permanent injury and severe disability.