Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment specialist Warning Signs Prevention cardiac screening Underlying Cause

Air Embolism Cardiac Screening

Up to 1 out of every 4 people has a tiny heart defect called patent foramen ovale, which is an abnormal opening that allows blood to flow from the left side of the heart to the right side of the heart. When this happens, some of the blood does not flow to the lungs. A patent foramen ovale increases the chance of stroke by ten times. Those who have a patent foramen ovale should not engage in scuba activities.

An echocardiogram is used to detect patent foramen ovale.

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Last Updated: Jun 2, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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