Case Report

Successful extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a postpartum patient with amniotic fluid embolism

Gil Myeong Seong, Su Wan Kim, Hye Sim Kang, Hyun Wook Kang


Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is a rare but fatal obstetric emergency, which is characterized by a sudden cardiovascular collapse, respiratory failure, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). We report a case of sudden cardiac arrest due to an amniotic-fluid embolism which was successfully treated with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). A 32-year-old female at 39.1 weeks of gestation was scheduled for induction labor. During labor, a sudden generalized tonic-clonic seizure was developed followed by dyspnea and hypotension. An immediate vaginal delivery was performed, and the baby was healthy. Despite the appropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation, she became hypoxemic and experienced recurrent cardiovascular collapse. ECMO was applied promptly, and the patient became stable rapidly and was discharged without any complications. ECMO seems to be a proper treatment option for catastrophic amniotic-fluid embolism.

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