The blood clots and the small bubbles that are stuck inside my cannula enters my body. I asked a doctor and he said its OK if the bubbles are small and clots are not dangerous.

Are these bubbles and clots periodically accumulated by the body? Will they become dangerous? Is body able to get rid of them?

How long does it take for the body to remove clots and bubbles from the blood?

1 Answer 1


First, notice that bubbles are stopped by the drip chamber on the IV, or if there's an infusion pump instead of a drip chamber, the pump itself will detect it and stop the flow.

If there is a small bubble or two in the line after the drip chamber or pump, notice that it doesn't go anywhere. It just sits there and doesn't move with the fluid so it never enters your vein.

If the person administering the IV made the serious mistake of not allowing fluid to fill the entire line before attaching it to you, it would still require a very large volume of air to do you any harm, on the order of 100 ml (an entire syringe full of air). This is because bubbles can't travel from the venous circulation to the arterial circulation where they would be dangerous. They will be trapped by the lungs and then slowly reabsorbed. A huge volume of air could cause a "vapor lock" in the right ventricle, which would be dangerous, but small bubbles in an IV are nowhere near enough to do that.

The exception to the above would be in people who have a patent foramen ovale (an opening between the right and left sides of the heart), which could allow air bubbles to pass from right to left. However, a patent foramen ovale is normally covered by a flap of tissue except when you bear down hard. So if you're just laying there in a bed, there is virtually no risk presented to you by air bubbles.

Having a small bubble or two in your venous circulation doesn't make your blood unhealthy or "bad." They're harmless and will be absorbed and disappear within hours.


  • When I went to hospital, the pump stopped due to air bubbles (stated on the machine interface). Then the nurse heard the beeping pump sometime later and fiddled around so that it would restart and walked away. The bubbles that were detected then continued through the pump and ultimately into the patient. Thankfully it didn't seem to do any harm.
    – Kenshin
    Oct 8, 2017 at 15:52

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