A 23-year-old woman in India reportedly died during a routine IVF procedure.
The healthy mother of one suffered the effects of a rare complication, leading to her death, media reports said.
The incident took place in India’s capital of New Delhi. However, the exact date when the woman died has not been revealed.
According to reports, the woman’s heart stopped beating while her eggs were being collected. She could not be resuscitated, and was declared dead, the New York Post reported. The victim has not been identified.
An autopsy revealed the cause of death to be severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). According to the World Health Organization, this impacts between 0.2% and 1% of all IVF patients.
This condition occurs due to an adverse reaction to fertility drugs used in IVF. These drugs are used to stimulate the growth of eggs. The chemicals cause fluid to leak out of blood vessels into the abdomen. In some severe cases, fluid also leaks to space around the heart and in the lungs.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, mild OHSS causes symptoms like abdominal swelling, discomfort, and nausea, and is relatively more common.
The woman’s death was investigated after a report was published in Autopsy Case Reports scientific journal in May. The report said the woman had no pre-existing conditions that put her at a higher risk. However, the autopsy report revealed the woman’s ovaries were three times larger than they should have been.
The woman, who has a 4-year-old child, started the process of IVF to have a second child.
Initially, she had begun the stimulation process to increase the number of eggs produced. After 11 days of this process, she went to the hospital for the eggs to be collected. The procedure began only after doctors found her blood pressure and pulse rate to be normal.
However, when she was sedated, her blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels dropped suddenly. It was not clear why she developed the complication.
People undergoing egg removal for IVF “should be adequately counseled about the risks related to egg donation,” the case report authors – Swati Tyagi, Asit Ranjan Mrida, and Chittaranjan Behera – wrote.