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Amniotic Fluid Embolism – OB/GYN Services Brooklyn

Amniotic Fluid Embolism - Ob\Gyn Services Brooklyn

Amniotic fluid embolism is a serious and life-threatening condition, luckily a very rare condition.  It occurs in cases when the amniotic fluid that surrounds and supports the baby during pregnancy inside of the uterus, enters the mother’s bloodstream. Except the amniotic fluid, also fetal cells or fetal material can enter the mother’s bloodstream. Amniotic fluid embolism is more likely to occur during childbirth or immediately after the delivery (Read also: Assisted Birth).

Amniotic fluid embolism is also very difficult to diagnose. When suspected, it requires urgent medical care and treatment, Brooklyn in order to prevent complications that are life – threatening.

What Is Amniotic Fluid Embolism?

The reason why amniotic fluid embolism occurs is not known. It is believed to be due to a breakdown in the placental barrier, caused usually from trauma. Once the breakdown in the placental barrier occurs, the human body responds by releasing products that cause an inflammatory reaction activating abnormal clotting in the mother’s lungs and blood vessels that can result in a serious blood-clotting disorder known as disseminated intravascular coagulation.

It is believed that some amniotic fluid enters the mother’s bloodstream during childbirth, without causing any problems. However, the reason why in some cases this leads to fluid embolism is not known.

Risk factors for amniotic fluid embolism include:

  • The age of the mother over 35 years old
  • Medically induced labor
  • Placenta problems – like abruption placenta, placenta previa
  • Preeclampsia
  • C-section
  • Polyhydramnios, etc.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Amniotic Fluid Embolism?

Amniotic fluid embolism is a condition that develops suddenly and very rapidly. Any change in the general condition of a women, who have recently given birth should be taken serious. The signs and symptoms of amniotic fluid embolism include:

  • Shortness of breath that occurs suddenly
  • Sudden low blood pressure
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Chills
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Altered mental status
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Cardiovascular collapse
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy – impaired and life threatening problems with blood clotting
  • Bleeding from the uterus, incision or intravenous (IV) sites, etc.

How Is Amniotic Fluid Embolism Diagnosed?

It is hard to diagnose fluid embolism. Usually, this diagnosis is suspected by the doctor in cases when there is a sudden and rapid change on the general condition of the women who is in labor or has recently given birth. Diagnosis usually consists in ruling out any other possible medical condition that could cause these signs and symptoms. In many cases with amniotic fluid embolism, the diagnosis is only made with autopsy, after the death of the mother.

Some of the tests and medical examinations that doctor’s usually order, are:

  • Total blood count
  • ECG
  • Pulse oxymetry
  • X-ray of the chest
  • Echocardiography, etc.

Get Gynecologic Treatment in Brooklyn

As it is a serious and life threatening condition amniotic fluid embolism requires immediate medical treatment. Emergency treatments usually include:

  • Oxygen therapy – usually a breathing tube is necessary
  • Catheter placement – a central venous catheter is placed in order to easily administrate fluids, blood transfusions and various medications
  • Blood transfusions – are necessary due to an excessive loss of blood
  • Various medications
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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.