Recordia Kennedy, St. Louis, Missouri
Top medical staff, immediate action make all the difference in rare obstetric emergency
Recordia Kennedy had had three uneventful deliveries before the birth of her son David. Always a healthy person, Recordia had no reason to suspect that David's birth would be vastly different, but it was.
Recordia seemed healthy on Feb. 26, 2012, according to her bedside nurse that day. Her delivery was progressing normally until she reached stage 2 of labor and then things started to deteriorate. She told her nurse, "I feel like I can't breathe," coughed for about 10 seconds and then became unresponsive.
A maternal fetal medicine physician arrived and delivered baby David within two minutes. Meanwhile, the acute care, obstetric nursing and anesthesia teams worked together for about 45 minutes, bringing Recordia back to life. She had suffered an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE), which means that amniotic fluid, fetal cells or other substances had entered her bloodstream, causing an allergic-like reaction which stopped her heart. AFE also causes the lungs to fail and impacts multiple organs in the body. It is a rare and deadly complication, one which most women don't survive. Most survivors live with permanent neurological problems.Continued ...