Question and answer

An amniotic fluid embolism can cause serious complications for you and your baby.

If you have an amniotic fluid embolism, you're at increased risk of:

  • Brain injury. Low blood oxygen can cause permanent, severe neurological damage or brain death.
  • Lengthy hospital stay. Women who survive an amniotic fluid embolism often require treatment in the intensive care unit and — depending on the extent of their complications — might spend weeks or months in the hospital.

It's estimated that amniotic fluid embolisms cause up to 10 percent of maternal deaths in developed countries. Death can occur within an hour of the start of symptoms.

If you have an amniotic embolism, your unborn baby is at increased risk of a brain injury due to a lack of oxygen. The condition can also be fatal for babies.