Amniotic fluid embolism is a syndrome deserving wider recognition as an emergency which may suddenly confront the internist who is hastily summoned to the obstetrical department to see a patient with shock or dyspnea. This condition is being increasingly recognized by obstetricians as perhaps the most common cause of unexplained shock occurring on the delivery table. It is probably much more frequent than the number of previous reports would indicate, and cases previously called "obstetrical shock" and "pitressin shock" may have been cases of amniotic fluid embolism. Diagnosis is important because of a new method of treatment which may be lifesaving and should be tried. The problem is in knowing that such a syndrome actually exists.
It is our purpose to review what is presently known of this condition, to encourage the internist to become familiar with this entity, and to recommend a new type of therapy.
NICHOLS GP, RANEY EH. Postpartum Confusion: Heart Failure or Amniotic Fluid Embolism?. Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(6):807-812. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870120071014