The symptoms of an air embolism depend on where the air bubble is.
- A large air bubble in the arteries to the brain will cause immediate loss of consciousness and often causes convulsions (fits). It may also cause a stroke.
- An air embolism in the coronary arteries (which lead to the heart) will cause a heart attack. A heart attack can also be caused by a large air embolism in the arteries to the brain.
- An embolism in a blood vessel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism) causes chest pain and shortness of breath.
Warning signs of an air embolism may include:
- low blood pressure
- irregular heartbeat
- extreme fatigue (tiredness) or lack of strength
- blurred vision
- a faint blue tone to the skin caused by a lack of oxygen in the blood
- irregular breathing
- a lack of oxygen to the body tissues