Amniotic fluid embolism-apropos two consecutive cases

Dragan Ječmenica, Ivanka Baralić, Djordje Alempijević, Snežana Pavlekić, Milosav Kiurski, Milan Terzić
Journal of Forensic Sciences 2011, 56: S247-51
Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is a sporadic, unpredictable, and usual fatal obstetric complication. The paper deals with two cases of maternal deaths because of AFE verified by medicolegal autopsy. In both the cases, several known risk factors associated with AFE, such as increased maternal age (41 and 35 years), diabetes, augmented labor, and cesarean delivery, were identified. Clinical features were typical, including sudden onset of cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms. In the patient who survived longer, both clinical and autopsy signs of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy were present, while they were absent in the case where death occurred rapidly. This paper describes briefly the particular features to look for at autopsy and stresses the importance of histology examination and staining techniques.

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