Venous air embolism. Life-threatening complication of orogenital sex during pregnancy

Am J Med. 1985 Feb;78(2):333-6. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(85)90445-0.


Vaginal insufflation in pregnant women leading to acute venous air embolism has been appreciated by obstetricians and pathologists for several decades. Initially described as a complication of powder insufflation for treatment of trichomonal vaginitis, insufflation-induced air embolism has been more recently associated with orogenital sex. The case herein illustrates a typical history that is almost pathognomonic. Clinical and laboratory abnormalities as well as treatment measures are briefly described. Familiarity with this syndrome is essential if prompt and appropriate therapy is to be rendered.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Embolism, Air / etiology*
  • Embolism, Air / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / therapy
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Veins