Hong Kong Med J 2013;19:352–3 | Number 4, August 2013
DOI: 10.12809/hkmj133898
Fatal cerebral air embolism related to an air flight
Jessie TH Yeung, Johnny KF Ma, YF Mak, Vincent SC Lam
Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Laichikok, Hong Kong
A patient with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease developed a cough, loss of consciousness, and convulsions during an air flight. Chest radiography showed a large lung bulla. Computed tomography of the brain showed intraparenchymal air and bilateral cerebral infarcts. The findings were compatible with cerebral air embolism, most likely predisposed to by lung bulla and an air flight. The underlying pathology and possible treatment are discussed.
Key words: Aircraft; Embolism, air; Infarction; Lung diseases
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