Chapter 5: Amniotic fluid embolism

Amniotic fluid embolism (AFE): Specific recommendations

Clinical practice and ongoing education and training

The management of amniotic fluid embolism is the same as the management of any woman who collapses before, during, or after labour. All staff require regular training for the identification and management of severe maternal illness or collapse. This is also a key recommendation of this Report.


At autopsy fetal squames and lanugo hair should be searched for in any pregnant or recently delivered woman. All possible attempts should be made to confirm a diagnosis of amniotic fluid embolism at autopsy. Histology, and if necessary, immunocytochemistry staining should be available.

National Amniotic Fluid Embolism Study

All cases of suspected or proven amniotic fluid embolism, whether fatal or not, should be reported through the monthly card notification system to:

The United Kingdom Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS)
The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit
University of Oxford
Old Road Campus
Old Road
Oxford, OX3 7LF