Medical Surgical Dialysis #4

Question

The nurse provides for a client who is receiving hemodialysis. The client becomes symptomatic of possible air emboli during dialysis and the nurse terminates the dialysis. Which manifestation will the nurse interpret as possible air embolism during dialysis?

Answers

  1. Shortness of breath, anxiousness, and chest pain.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the cardinal symptoms of an air embolism include shortness of breath, anxiety, and chest pain. Other signs are chest pain, paleness, and tachycardia.

  2. Increased temperature, bleeding from the shunt, and pallor.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the client may not have increased temperature, bleeding, and/or pallor, with an air embolism. The cardinal symptoms of an air embolism include shortness of breath, anxiety, and chest pain.

  3. Bradycardia, air bubbles oozing from the shunt site, and dizziness.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because although bradycardia and dizziness may occur, the most important first sign of an air embolism is tachycardia, anxiousness, and chest pain. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and paleness.

  4. Air emboli do not occur anymore due to advancements in dialysis systems and alarms.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because advances in equipment assist in recognizing air; however, air embolism may arise from a broken or loose luer connection, hole in the arterial tubing, air in the saline, and other human errors.

Overview

An air embolism occurs when one or more air bubbles enter a vein or artery and blocks it. Shortness of breath and anxiousness may be the first signs of possible air embolism during dialysis.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

An air embolism occurs when one or more air bubbles enter a vein or artery and blocks it. Shortness of breath and anxiousness may be the first signs of possible air embolism during dialysis. Other signs are chest pain, paleness, and tachycardia. The nurse is to immediately terminate the dialysis, notify the healthcare provider, and place the client on oxygen.

Test Taking Tip

Consider the cardinal symptoms associated with an air embolism to answer this question correctly.

Video Rationale