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We utilised linked birth, hospital and death data for the entire population to determine the incidence of amniotic fluid embolism (AFE) and its mortality and morbidity. AFE diagnoses were identified from International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD10)-coded hospital and/or death records with additional case definition criteria imposed. The AFE incidence was 3.3 per 100,000 (95% CI, 1.9-4.7), maternal fatality rate 35% (95% CI, 15-59) and perinatal mortality rate 32% (95% CI, 12-56). Newly identified risk factors included induction with vaginal prostaglandin and manual removal of the placenta, and survivors were at increased risk of cerebral infarction. Although two-thirds of women and infants survived, AFE also caused severe morbidity.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1417 - 1421


Adult, Cerebral Infarction, Embolism, Amniotic Fluid, Female, Humans, Incidence, Maternal Age, Maternal Mortality, New South Wales, Pregnancy, Risk Factors, Stillbirth