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Article
October 18, 1941

MATERNAL PULMONARY EMBOLISM BY AMNIOTIC FLUID: AS A CAUSE OF OBSTETRIC SHOCK AND UNEXPECTED DEATHS IN OBSTETRICS

JAMA. 1941;117(16):1340-1345. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820420032010
Abstract

It is impossible to state the true incidence of this condition at the present time because the sublethal and even subclinical forms which undoubtedly exist have not been recognized. The nonfatal cases on theoretical grounds should outnumber those which are fatal, just as is true with respect to pulmonary fat embolism and pulmonary embolism by vascular thrombi. In the absence of other data, only the incidence of fatal cases can be given.

The 8 cases reported here were encountered in 4,000 consecutive autopsies performed by members of the Department of Pathology of the University of Chicago between the years 1925 and 1940. This is an incidence of 0.2 per cent. This autopsy material was obtained from a number of private and charity hospitals and, on the whole, it is not dissimilar to that encountered in general postmortem services at other institutions.

Of greater significance is the frequency of this complication

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