Venous oxygen embolism produced by injection of hydrogen peroxide into an enterocutaneous fistula.

Research paper by Philip M PM Jones, Steven H SH Segal, Adrian W AW Gelb

Indexed on: 25 Nov '04Published on: 25 Nov '04Published in: Anesthesia and analgesia


We report a venous oxygen embolism that occurred in a 66-yr-old man after 60 mL of 3% hydrogen peroxide was injected into a perianal fistula intraoperatively to locate its internal opening. The diagnosis was made after detecting hypoxemia, decreased end-tidal carbon dioxide tension, systemic hypotension, increased central venous pressure, and a new heart murmur. The patient recovered quickly and had no long-term sequelae. Oxygen embolism is a potentially fatal complication that can develop when hydrogen peroxide is used near venous spaces, and clinicians should be aware of the potential dangers when using this seemingly innocuous chemical.