Endoscopic Bubble Trouble

Jeffrey S. Cooper, Jason Thomas, Shailender Singh, Tarra Brakke
  • Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, July 2017, Wolters Kluwer Health
  • DOI: 10.1097/mcg.0000000000000614

Endoscopic Bubble Trouble

What is it about?

Gas embolism is a rare but potentially devastating complication of endoscopic procedures. We describe three cases of gas embolism which were associated with endoscopic procedures (Upper GI). We treated these at our hyperbaric medicine center with three different outcomes: complete resolution, death and disability. We review the literature regarding this unusual complication of endoscopy and discuss the need for prompt identification and referral for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Why is it important?

The prevention and early identification and treatment of gas embolism in the setting of endoscopic examinations aids in reducing the incidence and devastation that this complication can cause.


jeffrey cooper
University of Nebraska System

Our cases and the review of existing literature on the subject emphasize both the need for preventative measures and very early hyperbaric intervention to provide better outcomes.

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