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Pregnant woman dies along with fetus; doctors suspect amniotic fluid embolism

Rare condition sees fluid protecting baby enter bloodstream, triggering dangerous immune system response

Moran Malki-Nevo (Courtesy)
Moran Malki-Nevo (Courtesy)

A 38-year-old woman nearing the end of her pregnancy suddenly died Saturday after urgent hospitalization, as did her unborn baby, with doctors saying they suspected she’d suffered a rare amniotic fluid condition.

Moran Malki-Nevo, a mother of two daughters, was rushed to Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center in critical condition, where she underwent a cesarean section. However, both mother and child subsequently died.

Malki-Nevo was a registered organ donor, and her organs were harvested for donation.

Prof. Alon Ben Arie, manager of Kaplan’s Women and Maternity Department, said her cause of death was not certain, “but we believe it was an amniotic fluid embolism, which can occur rarely during pregnancy.”

An amniotic fluid embolism is a very uncommon condition in which the fluid surrounding the fetus in the uterus enters the mother’s bloodstream, leading to serious consequences including a deadly allergy-like response by the immune system. The mother may suffer respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and profuse bleeding.

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