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Death may occur in labor or shortly afterward from a variety of causes, such as heart failure, pulmonary embolism, air-embolism, uterine or other hemorrhage, rupture of the uterus, of the heart, of other important viscus or of an aneurysm or of an abscess, etc. The entrance of air into the uterine veins during or following labor may take place spontaneously, though often it has followed injections into the uterus and other manipulations about the birth canal. In a small number of cases a similar event may follow the formation of gas in the uterine cavity as a result of decomposition. The accident is almost invariably fatal, so that every precaution should be observed, so far as possible, against its taking place.
The occurrence of air-embolism in connection with placenta prævia has not hitherto been frequently observed, although a small number of cases have been recorded within recent years. Kramer (Zeitschrift
AIR EMBOLISM IN CONNECTION WITH PLACENTA PRÆVIA.. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(24):1253. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02431020035007