Ms Kathryn Fitzpatrick – Outcomes of Amniotic-Fluid Embolism

Our research is aiming to provide more reliable information on Amniotic-fluid embolism

Ms Kathryn Fitzpatrick, University of Oxford: Risk factors, Management and Outcomes of Amniotic-Fluid Embolism

£24,862 over 36 months

Aims of our research

Amniotic-fluid embolism (AFE) is a rare pregnancy complication in which amniotic-fluid (the liquid in which the baby floats in the womb), fetal skin or other cells enter the women’s blood stream and trigger an allergic reaction.

Women with this condition may collapse suddenly during birth and sadly it often results to death of the mother. Our research is aiming to provide more reliable information on:

  • What causes AFE
  • How the condition should be managed
  • What happens to a woman and her baby following AFE
  • Whether there are specific factors, such as the way in which the condition is managed, that are associated with death or severe illness for mothers and their babies

Progress so far

We have currently collected information on a total of 158 women with AFE in the UK, using a well-established system, called the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS). As well, data on AFE has been collected in Australia and New Zealand since January 2010; France between 2012 and 2013; the Netherlands since September 2013; and Denmark since January 2015. From May 2018, we have been analysing the data on AFE from the UK and these other countries to answer our research questions.

Implications for future prevention, treatment or cure and future work

The long-term goal will be to use our results to find ways to improve the management and outcomes for mothers and their babies, and to inform the development of any relevant future policy.