Nursing Care Plan for Air Embolism

Nursing Care Plan for Air Embolism


An air embolism occurs when air or gas enters the bloodstream and obstructs blood flow. This can lead to various complications, including organ damage and potentially life-threatening situations. As a nurse, your role is crucial in preventing, recognizing, and managing air embolisms. This nursing care plan aims to outline evidence-based interventions to effectively address and minimize the risks associated with air embolism.

Patient Information:

  • Name: [Patient’s Name]
  • Age: [Patient’s Age]
  • Gender: [Patient’s Gender]
  • Medical History: [Brief summary of patient’s medical history]
  • Risk Factors: [Identify patient-specific risk factors for air embolism]
  • Support System: [Identify individuals involved in patient’s care and support]
  • Date of Admission: [Date of Admission]
  • Date of Care Plan: [Date of Care Plan]

Nursing Assessment of Air Embolism:

Subjective Data:

  • The patient may report sudden onset of dyspnea, chest pain, or other symptoms.
  • The patient may provide a history of recent invasive procedures or trauma.

Objective Data:

  • Cyanosis (bluish discoloration) of the skin and mucous membranes.
  • Tachypnea (rapid breathing) and dyspnea.
  • Hypotension or hemodynamic instability.
  • Distended neck veins (in cases of large air embolisms).
  • Abnormal heart sounds or arrhythmias.
  • Neurological symptoms such as confusion or loss of consciousness.

Nursing Diagnosis of Air Embolism:

  1. Risk for Air Embolism related to invasive procedures or medical interventions.
  2. Impaired Gas Exchange related to compromised blood flow and oxygenation.
  3. Anxiety related to the potential risks and complications associated with air embolism.
  4. Deficient Knowledge regarding prevention, recognition, and management of air embolism.
  5. Impaired Gas Exchange is related to the presence of air in the circulatory system as evidenced by hypoxemia, dyspnea, and cyanosis.
  6. Ineffective Tissue Perfusion related to impaired circulation caused by air embolism as evidenced by hypotension, altered heart sounds, and distended neck veins.
  7. Acute Pain related to chest discomfort or ischemia resulting from air embolism as evidenced by the patient’s report of chest pain or discomfort.
  8. Anxiety related to the sudden onset of symptoms, fear of complications, or fear of further air embolism as evidenced by the patient’s expression of worry, restlessness, or increased heart rate.

Nursing Interventions of Air Embolism:

Risk for Air Embolism:

  1. Assess the patient’s risk factors for air embolism, such as central venous catheterization or mechanical ventilation.
  2. Strictly adhere to an aseptic technique during invasive procedures to prevent air entry into the bloodstream.
  3. Ensure the proper priming and flushing of intravenous tubing to prevent air infusion.
  4. Collaborate with the healthcare team to minimize the use of unnecessary invasive procedures and interventions.

Impaired Gas Exchange:

  1. Monitor the patient’s respiratory status, including oxygen saturation levels, respiratory rate, and lung sounds.
  2. Position the patient in a semi-Fowler’s position to facilitate optimal lung expansion and oxygenation.
  3. Administer supplemental oxygen as prescribed to improve oxygenation and support gas exchange.
  4. Collaborate with the healthcare team to ensure adequate fluid balance and hemodynamic stability.


  1. Provide a calm and reassuring environment to alleviate anxiety and promote relaxation.
  2. Encourage open communication with the patient to address their concerns and fears related to air embolism.
  3. Offer psychological support and provide information about the steps taken to prevent and manage air embolism.
  4. Collaborate with the interdisciplinary team, including psychologists or psychiatrists, if anxiety symptoms persist or worsen.

Deficient Knowledge:

  1. Educate the patient and their caregivers about the risks, signs, and symptoms of air embolism.
  2. Provide information on preventive measures, such as proper positioning during invasive procedures and avoiding rapid changes in patient position.
  3. Teach the patient to report any sudden onset of symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or neurological changes.
  4. Collaborate with the healthcare team to develop educational materials and resources to enhance the patient’s knowledge and understanding.

Nursing Evaluation of Air Embolism:

  1. Prevention of air embolism through strict adherence to preventive measures and awareness of patient-specific risk factors.
  2. Improved gas exchange and oxygenation as evidenced by stable respiratory status and oxygen saturation levels.
  3. Reduced anxiety levels and increased patient’s sense of comfort and well-being.
  4. Enhanced knowledge and understanding of air embolism prevention, recognition, and appropriate actions to take.
  5. The patient demonstrates improved gas exchange as evidenced by improved oxygenation and respiratory status.
  6. Adequate tissue perfusion is achieved with stable blood pressure and heart rate.
  7. The patient reports a reduction in chest pain or discomfort.
  8. The patient shows a decrease in anxiety and improved coping with the situation.


Regularly document the patient’s progress, interventions provided, and the outcomes achieved. Collaborate with the interdisciplinary healthcare team to review and update the care plan based on the patient’s evolving needs and responses to interventions.


This nursing care plan is a general guideline and should be individualized according to the patient’s specific needs, medical history, and risk factors for air embolism. Collaboration with the interdisciplinary healthcare team, including physicians, respiratory therapists, and psychologists, is essential to provide comprehensive care for individuals at risk of air embolism.


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