019 – Amniotic Fluid Embolism – a case discussion with Assoc Prof Nolan McDonnell

Hi Everyone,

This week we have a friend and colleague on the podcast, Assoc Prof Nolan McDonnell where he discusses a challenging case of amniotic fluid embolism which he was personally involved with earlier in his career. Join us and listen to the case where Nolan describes what it was like on a personal level – the uncertainty at first as to what is happening when there is a maternal collapse – and then the clinical utility of transoesophageal echocardiography and inhaled nitric oxide and how they helped in the management of this critically unwell woman.

This is a unpredictable and challenging clinical condition which anyone involved in the care of obstetric woman in the peripartum period may be unfortunate enough to encounter. Stay tuned for next weeks podcast where Nolan and I do more of a “deep dive” into the epidemiology, pathophysiology and history of this fascinating condition.


McDonnell NJ, Chan BO, Frengley RW. Rapid reversal of critical haemodynamic compromise with nitric oxde in a parturient with amniotic fluid embolism. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2007 Jul;16(3):269-73



One thought on “019 – Amniotic Fluid Embolism – a case discussion with Assoc Prof Nolan McDonnell

  1. Great podcast(s)
    I don’t recall any mention of the use of intralipid in what was thought initially to be LAST- preumably before the widespread use of this modality. There are case reports of the use of intralipid as a last ditch treatment of AFI. Lastly the RV dilates in arrest of any cause. Not to suggest anything other than the complexities of diagnosing this condition in an undifferentiated collapse. Lastly we should all be using a cognitive aid eg ACM when faced with these rare critical emergencies.

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