Air embolism during pregnancy

Patient

Q: If you develop an air embolism, through your vagina or not, it says it can be fatal to you and your baby. Can the embolism travel to your baby? or does it just effect you and your breathing and that is how it would be fatal to little one? If I develop an embolism can it travel to my baby or just effect me?

Doctor

A:   Hi,
Thanks for the query.
I understand your concern.
Air embolism is an air bubble or air bubbles entering into a vein or artery and blocking it.
Air embolisms are very rare.
Air embolism can occur through vagina when air is blown into vagina, if there is a tear or injury in the vagina or uterus.
In pregnant women air embolism can occur through tear in their placenta. Air embolism usually affects the mother directly by traveling to brain, heart or lungs etc and it can cause a stroke, heart attack or respiratory failure etc respectively.
By affecting the mother, indirectly it will affect the survival of the baby.
Take care.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: If air embolism occurs in pregnant women through a tear in placenta where would it travel then? to the baby? or to my heart/lungs etc?

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