A 41-year-old multigravida presented at 32 weeks of gestation with polyhydramnios and an anencephalic fetus. Abnormal bleeding as a result of disseminated intravascular coagulation complicated an emergency Caesarean section for severe abdominal pain thought to be due to uterine rupture. Massive transfusion with blood products was necessary and the abdomen packed to control bleeding. The patient was transferred to the intensive care unit where she made a slow but complete recovery. Amniotic fluid embolism with atypical presentation of isolated coagulopathy is the likely diagnosis in this case. The case serves to demonstrate that amniotic fluid embolism may present with symptoms and signs other than the classical pattern of dyspnoea, cyanosis and hypotension.