An interesting case of an atraumatic painful swollen limb in a pregnant woman


Phlegmasia cerulea dolens is an uncommon complication of deep venous thrombosis. This is associated with high rates of morbidity if not treated effectively. We present a young lady 13 weeks pregnant with one-day history of left lower limb swelling with pain and discolouration. Bedside ultrasonography revealed thrombosis occluding the common femoral vein and collateral femoral vein. She had history of neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopaenia (NAIT), and had immunotherapy previously. The safest option was to give low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) on an inpatient basis. Anticoagulation with LMWH has been well established as thromboprophylaxis during pregnancy, however, the safety profile of systemic anticoagulation is matter of debate. As highlighted in this scenario the management needs to be tailored on an individual basis. The cause for the extensive deep vein thrombosis could be possibly due to the recent immunoglobulin therapy, undiagnosed prothrombotic state (outwith pregnancy) or the procoagulant state associated with pregnancy.

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IssueVol 6 No 1 (2022): Winter (February) QRcode
SectionCase (report / study)
DOI 10.18502/fem.v6i1.7682
Anticoagulants Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopaenia Phlegmasia Cerulea Dolens Pregnancy

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How to Cite
Chowdhury D. An interesting case of an atraumatic painful swollen limb in a pregnant woman. Front Emerg Med. 2021;6(1):e10.


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