Venous air embolism following orogenital sex during pregnancy

Am J Emerg Med. 1993 Mar;11(2):155-7. doi: 10.1016/0735-6757(93)90111-n.


Venous air embolism is an infrequent complication of pregnancy but may occur if air is blown into the vagina during orogenital sex. Air passes beneath the fetal membranes and into the circulation of the subplacental sinuses, invariably causing death to both mother and fetus within minutes. Reported is the case of a nonfatal air embolism following vaginal air insufflation in the 38th week of pregnancy. The hospital course was complicated by hypotension, metabolic acidosis, acute neurologic changes, and emergency caesarean section with eventual fetal demise. Clinical and laboratory abnormalities as well as treatment measures are discussed. 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 / diagnosis
  • Embolism, Air / etiology*
  • Emergencies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third
  • Sexual Behavior*