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September 29, 1945

DEATH FROM AIR EMBOLISM FOLLOWING INSUFFLATION DURING PREGNANCY: REPORT OF A CASE

JAMA. 1945;129(5):342-344. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860390028008
Abstract

Insufflation has been a medical practice since early in the nineteenth century. The earliest recorded mention of it appeared in 1823. There are descriptions of its use for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes in connection with almost every opening and cavity of the body. Despite the fact that it has been used widely and frequently since then, insufflation has not been regarded as a dangerous procedure.1

The first reference in medical literature to insufflation of the vagina with silver picrate as an effective treatment of trichomoniasis appeared in 1936.2 Since that time three deaths directly attributed to insufflation of the vagina during pregnancy have been reported, one from Canada3 and two from England.4 Attention was directed by these accounts to the dangers of the method, especially when applied during the latter part of pregnancy. One author referred to the fact that the English manufacturer of the drug

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