Newborn's fingernail could have killed mother

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

A woman almost died after childbirth when amniotic fluid entered her bloodstream, doctors say.

Angela Cottam, 32, gave birth to twins Ava and Amelie five weeks early because of another medical condition, she told ABC News.

Partway though labour, Cottam, from Wales, started choking and turned blue, then her lungs collapsed and she nearly bled to death, ABC reported. She was put on life support and was in a coma for 12 hours.

Doctors say she suffered an amniotic fluid embolism, which happens in one of 10,000 pregnancies, where amniotic fluid from the sac holding the babies gets into the mother's bloodstream. Cottam said she was told the cells possibly contained hair or a nail, a possibility emphasized by British papers, but the chief of obstetrics at Stanford University told ABC that claim was "ridiculous."


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