Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is a rare obstetric emergency in which amniotic fluid, fetal cells, hair, or other debris enters the mother's blood stream via the placental bed of the uterus and trigger an allergic reaction. This reaction then results in cardiorespiratory (heart and lung) collapse and coagulopathy. Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is a pregnancy complication that causes life-threatening conditions, such as heart failure. It can affect you, your baby, or both of you.
The pathophysiology of amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is poorly understood. Based on the original description, it was theorized that amniotic fluid and fetal cells enter the maternal circulation, possibly triggering an anaphylactic reaction to fetal antigens. Admit the patient with amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) into the intensive care unit (ICU). Treatment is supportive and includes the following: Administer oxygen to maintain normal saturation. Intubate if necessary. Initiate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if the patient arrests.
Amniotic fluid embolism is a major obstetric catastrophe, with an overall mortality rate as high as 60–80%, and is the cause of 4–10% of maternal deaths. The exact pathology is not well defined, but it is clear that sufficient amniotic fluid has to enter the maternal circulation. The occurrence of AFE is not only a consequence of the mechanical respiratory obstruction caused by the absorbed fluid, but also a humoral effect causing pulmonary vasospasm, depression of myocardial contractility, coagulopathy and possibly anaphylaxis (type I hypersensitivity reaction)