Successful resuscitation of amniotic fluid embolism applying a new classification and management strategy

Research paper by Shinya Yufune, Motoshi Tanaka, Ryosuke Akai, Yasushi Satoh, Kenichi Furuya, Katsuo Terui, Naohiro Kanayama, Tomiei Kazama

Indexed on: 27 Aug '15Published on: 27 Aug '15Published in: JA Clinical Reports


Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is a rare but life-threatening maternal emergency caused by the entry of amniotic fluid contents into the maternal circulation. The clinical manifestations of AFE are heterogeneous, leading to misdiagnosis or treatment delay. Kanayama and colleagues distinguished the cardiopulmonary collapse type (or classic type) from the disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) type of AFE on the basis of the presence of uterine atony and DIC in the latter prior to cardiopulmonary failure. We report a case of DIC-type AFE successfully treated by blood volume replacement and coagulation therapy. The patient was scheduled for elective cesarean delivery because of a previous cesarean section and moyamoya disease. Delivery was uneventful, but massive vaginal bleeding without clotting and ensuing hypovolemic shock occurred 4 h later. She was transferred to the operating room for emergency laparotomy, but sustained a cardiac arrest. The patient was successfully resuscitated and a hysterectomy performed. During surgery, the patient received fresh frozen plasma, platelets, fibrinogen, and antithrombin concentrate. In cardiopulmonary collapse type AFE, cardiopulmonary resuscitation without delay is important. In the present case of DIC-type AFE, however, early supplementation of clotting factors and platelets was critical for patient survival.