Amnioinfusion

Amnioinfusion (AI) is a procedure that inserts a given amount of a germ-free (sterile) saline solution into the uterus. AI is used for different reasons, which may include:

  • To increase the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby when there is not enough (oligohydramnios). The benefits of doing this may include, but are not limited to:

  • Better viewing of the baby using ultrasound. If ultrasound pictures are better, there is a better chance that your caregiver can diagnose certain problems with the baby.

  • Better and earlier care for the baby if certain kinds of problems are found with the kidneys, the intestines, and other organs.

  • To help prevent the umbilical cord from being squeezed (umbilical cord compression) if your caregiver is concerned that you may be having this problem. The benefits of doing this may include, but are not limited to:

  • Helping correct fetal heart rates that are too low.

  • Lowering the chance of needing a cesarean delivery.

  • Lowering the chance of infection of the inner lining of the uterus.

LET YOUR CAREGIVER KNOW ABOUT:

  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous uterine or cervical surgery.

  • History of placenta previa or anterior placenta.

RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS

  • Bleeding

  • Infection.

  • A break or hole (perforation) in the uterus.

  • Amniotic fluid, fetal cells, hair, or other debris enter the mother's bloodstream (amniotic fluid embolism).

  • Separation of the placenta (placental abruption).

  • Too much fluid in the uterus (polyhydramnios).

BEFORE THE PROCEDURE

A vaginal exam may be performed to rule out a prolapsed umbilical cord.

PROCEDURE

AI can be done in 2 different ways.

Transabdominal AI. This way is most commonly performed when there is low fluid around the baby before labor begins.

  • You will lie on your back or will be slightly tilted to your left side.

  • An ultrasound scan of the uterus and baby is performed.

  • You will be given a medicine that numbs the abdominal area (local anesthetic).

  • With ultrasound guidance, a needle is inserted into the amniotic sac through the abdomen.

  • Warm, sterile saline solution is injected into the amniotic cavity.

  • The AI may be repeated intermittently and weekly until the baby is delivered.

Transcervical AI. This way is most commonly performed when there is low fluid around the baby during labor or after the bag of water around the baby breaks.

  • You will lie on your back or will be slightly tilted to your left side.

  • An ultrasound of the uterus and baby is performed.

  • A fetal scalp electrode is placed on the baby's head.

  • A flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through the opened cervix into the uterus. The catheter can also monitor the uterine contractions.

  • Warm, sterile saline solution is inserted through the catheter into the uterus using an electronic monitor.

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

The fetal heart rate and uterine activity are monitored continuously.