A healthy 23-year-old woman died during an IVF procedure after a rare complication.
The unidentified woman from Delhi, India, had a four-year-old daughter and she appeared perfectly healthy before the procedure.
During the egg retrieval procedure, the woman’s heart stopped beating and she could not be resuscitated.
An autopsy revealed her death was the result of severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which the World Health Organization says affects between 0.2 percent and 1 percent of all IVF patients.
The disease is a side effect of fertility drugs used in IVF and designed to stimulate the growth of eggs.
However, in one third of patients, the drugs can cause excessive development of the ovaries, causing short-term swelling, discomfort and nausea.
However, in patients with OHSS, the condition causes blood to clot in the legs or lungs, which can lead to a fatal accumulation of fluid in the lungs.
The notice of the woman’s death was published in Autopsy reports in a scientific journal in May that she had no prior medical conditions that would have put her at greater risk, such as diabetes or heart disease.
After conceiving her first child naturally, she began the IVF process to have a second child, starting ovarian stimulation to increase her egg count.
After 11 days of the process, she visited the hospital for egg retrieval, and doctors noted that her blood pressure and pulse rate were normal.
However, while sedated, her blood pressure, pulse and oxygen levels suddenly dropped.
An autopsy revealed that the ovaries were three times larger than normal and there was fluid in the lungs.
With the number of patients undergoing IVF steadily increasing in recent decades, report authors Swati Tyagi, Asit Ranjan Mrida and Chittaranjan Behera said the woman’s death was a reminder of the risks associated with the procedure.
“Potential egg donors should be appropriately counseled about the risks associated with egg donation,” they said.
Originally published as A 23-year-old woman died during routine IVF treatment