Woman Dies While Undergoing IVF
(Link): 23-year-old woman dies while undergoing routine IVF treatment
A healthy 23-year-old woman has died while undergoing IVF after suffering the effects of a rare complication.
(Link): Woman Dies While Undergoing IVF
Woman dies while undergoing IVF: 23-year-old Indian mother suffers rare complication which sent ovaries into overdrive and shut down her lungs
October 25, 2022
by Emily Craig
A mother undergoing IVF died after suffering an extremely rare side effect, medics have revealed.
The unidentified 23-year-old, from Delhi in India, died ‘suddenly’ while doctors were collecting her eggs.
The woman, who was married for seven years and had a four-year-old daughter born naturally, appeared healthy when she went to hospital for the procedure.
However, her heart stopped beating when fertility doctors tried to retrieve her eggs. They were unable to resuscitate her.
A post-mortem revealed she died from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) — a complication that affects one in three women undergoing IVF.
…The condition causes women’s ovaries to expand dangerously and, in severe cases, can leave victims fighting to breathe with blood clots in their lungs.
…Writing in the journal Autopsy and Case Reports, doctors said the patient’s medical history and test results all indicated she was a ‘healthy young woman’ before starting IVF.
She began ovarian stimulation, the first step in IVF, which involves taking hormones to boost the number of eggs their ovaries produce.
This is done so doctors can collect as many eggs as possible to fertilise, which increases the choice of embryos that can be implanted.
After 11 days, the patient attended hospital for egg collection — the next physical step of the IVF journey.
Dr Swati Tyagi and her team wrote that her blood pressure and pulse rate were healthy.
She was sedated for the procedure, which usually takes 15 to 20 minutes, in which doctors performed an ultrasound and began collecting eggs from her ovaries using a needle.
But after an egg was taken from the right ovary, the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels dropped.
Doctors immediately abandoned the procedure but could not detect her heartbeat.
They began CPR, injected her with drugs in an attempt to restart her heart and used a defibrillator.
But her heartbeat remained flat throughout and she could not be revived.
Medics performed an autopsy due to the sudden nature of her death. It showed that her ovaries — typically 3cm in size — were around three times larger than they should have been.
She had nine to 10 enlarged follicles on the wall of each ovary and there was fluid around her abdomen and lungs — a tell-tale signs of OHSS.
Experts concluded that she had died of an acute pulmonary edema — a build-up of fluid in the lungs that is caused by a blood clot and makes it difficult to breathe — that was trigged by OHSS and led to cardiac arrest
OHSS is a potentially fatal reaction to fertility drugs, which are taken ahead of egg collection to stimulate the ovaries and make eggs grow.
For a third of IVF patients, the drugs cause the ovaries to develop too many follicles — the sac which contains the egg.
In the vast majority of women, this causes short-lasting mild abdominal swelling, discomfort and nausea.
But one in 100 IVF patients develop moderate or severe OHSS, which triggers painful swelling in the abdomen, as well as difficulties passing urine and breathing.
In the most severe cases, women may also develop a blood clot in their legs or lungs.
When this happens, fluid from the blood vessels may leak into the abdomen and the space around the heart and lungs.
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