Amniotic Fluid Embolism

The number one response from families [I work with] is, ‘We have never heard that something like this could happen.’ - Miranda Klassen

Amniotic Fluid Embolism
Amniotic Fluid Embolism

image by: AFE (Amniotic Fluid Embolism) Foundation

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AFE Survivor Emily T

“You have the shortest chart I’ve ever seen.” I remember those words like it was yesterday. My OB was joking about how healthy I was during my pregnancy, how everything my daughter and I were going through was “textbook on time.” I was getting extra tests since I am vegan and that tends to make doctors nervous when you are pregnant. The only thing they were worried about was Placenta Previa, but it soon moved far enough away from my cervix that it wasn’t a concern. Truthfully I liked being pregnant. It went pretty easy for me besides some morning sickness in the first few weeks. I was still working full time and everything was moving along smoothly. We were so excited for our first baby!


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 AFE Survivor Emily T

I’m one of the lucky ones. Physically I’m doing pretty well, emotionally will be a long road for me. You can’t die and come back unscathed. My chart is a little bit longer now that it was a year ago, but I have a community to belong to now. A purpose to share my story about this awful circumstance. Because it can happen to you, your sister, your daughter, your wife.

Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation

The Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation is the only patient advocacy organization, serving those affected or devastated by amniotic fluid embolism. Our mission is to fund research, raise public awareness and provide support for those whose lives have been touched by this often-fatal maternal health complication.


Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is an extremely rare, but life-threatening complication that affects pregnant women shortly before, during, or immediately following labor and childbirth. Most instances occur during labor. In this disorder, it is hypothesized that a pregnant woman has a severe, allergic reaction to amniotic fluid or other fetal material such as fetal cells, which enter the mother’s bloodstream.


The classical scenario of AFE involves an older multiparous woman in advanced labour, who suddenly collapses.


Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) is a life-threatening obstetric emergency characterized by sudden cardiorespiratory collapse and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) represents the second leading cause of peripartum maternal death in the United States and the number one cause of peripartum cardiac arrest. The presentation is abrupt, usually with sudden cardiorespiratory collapse followed by severe coagulopathy and refractory resuscitation.

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