Randomized Trial of Early Detection and Treatment of Postpartum Hemorrhage

I. Gallos, A. Devall (Lead / Corresponding author), J. Martin, L. Middleton, L. Beeson, H. Galadanci, F. Alwy Al-Beity, Z. Qureshi, G. J. Hofmeyr, N. Moran, S. Fawcus, L. Sheikh, G. Gwako, A. Osoti, A. Aswat, K. M. Mammoliti, K. N. Sindhu, M. Podesek, I. Horne, R. TimmsI. Yunas, J. Okore, M. Singata-Madliki, E. Arends, A. A. Wakili, A. Mwampashi, S. Nausheen, S. Muhammad, P. Latthe, C. Evans, S. Akter, G. Forbes, D. Lissauer, S. Meher, A. Weeks, A. Shennan, A. Ammerdorffer, E. Williams, T. Roberts, M. Widmer, O. T. Oladapo, F. Lorencatto, M. A. Bohren, S. Miller, F. Althabe, M. Gülmezoglu, J. M. Smith, K. Hemming, A. Coomarasamy

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43 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Delays in the detection or treatment of postpartum hemorrhage can result in complications or death. A blood-collection drape can help provide objective, accurate, and early diagnosis of postpartum hemorrhage, and delayed or inconsistent use of effective interventions may be able to be addressed by a treatment bundle.

Methods: We conducted an international, cluster-randomized trial to assess a multicomponent clinical intervention for postpartum hemorrhage in patients having vaginal delivery. The intervention included a calibrated blood-collection drape for early detection of postpartum hemorrhage and a bundle of first-response treatments (uterine massage, oxytocic drugs, tranexamic acid, intravenous fluids, examination, and escalation), supported by an implementation strategy (intervention group). Hospitals in the control group provided usual care. The primary outcome was a composite of severe postpartum hemorrhage (blood loss, ≥1000 ml), laparotomy for bleeding, or maternal death from bleeding. Key secondary implementation outcomes were the detection of postpartum hemorrhage and adherence to the treatment bundle.

Results: A total of 80 secondary-level hospitals across Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania, in which 210,132 patients underwent vaginal delivery, were randomly assigned to the intervention group or the usual-care group. Among hospitals and patients with data, a primary-outcome event occurred in 1.6% of the patients in the intervention group, as compared with 4.3% of those in the usual-care group (risk ratio, 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.32 to 0.50; P<0.001). Postpartum hemorrhage was detected in 93.1% of the patients in the intervention group and in 51.1% of those in the usual-care group (rate ratio, 1.58; 95% CI, 1.41 to 1.76), and the treatment bundle was used in 91.2% and 19.4%, respectively (rate ratio, 4.94; 95% CI, 3.88 to 6.28).

Conclusions: Early detection of postpartum hemorrhage and use of bundled treatment led to a lower risk of the primary outcome, a composite of severe postpartum hemorrhage, laparotomy for bleeding, or death from bleeding, than usual care among patients having vaginal delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date9 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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