Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is one of the most catastrophic complications of pregnancy in which it is postulated that amniotic fluid, fetal cells, hair, or other debris enters the maternal pulmonary circulation, causing cardiovascular collapse and other complications which are a cause of high case fatality. It was first reported by Meyer in 1926. The incidence of Amniotic fluid embolism is rare, and the exact pathophysiology is still unknown. The process is similar to anaphylaxis than to embolism, so also termed as anaphylactoid syndrome of pregnancy because foetal tissue or amniotic fluid components are not universally found in women who present with signs and symptoms attributable to AFE. This is a case of a 27-year old female who developed severe bleeding after delivery of a male child and died 3 hours later to it. The post mortem report showed 50 ml of straw-coloured fluid in both the right and left pleura. Section from lung shows dilated and preserved alveolar air spaces with luminal secretions; surrounded by congested and inflamed interstitium, with congested blood vessels as per the histopathological report. Vessels showed luminal lamellated keratin flakes and squamous cells. The cause of death on examination was found to be amniotic fluid embolism. Since there was no indication of any sort of abdominal trauma therefore in such cases it becomes important to figure out the possible reasons behind the development of amniotic fluid embolism in an apparently normal individual. Though it is a rare condition, an early diagnosis of amniotic fluid embolism is necessary to prevent fatality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-152
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Punjab Academy of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Toxicology


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