What is the mortality and morbidity associated with postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)?

Updated: Jun 27, 2018
  • Author: John R Smith, MD, FACOG, FRCSC; Chief Editor: Ronald M Ramus, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality. All women who carry a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks’ gestation are at risk for PPH and its sequelae. Although maternal mortality rates have declined greatly in the developed world, PPH remains a leading cause of maternal mortality elsewhere.

The pregnancy-related mortality ratio in the United States was 17.3 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013. National statistics suggest that approximately 11.4% of these deaths are caused by PPH. [1] In industrialized countries, PPH usually ranks in the top 3 causes of maternal mortality, along with embolism and hypertension. In the developing world, several countries have maternal mortality rates in excess of 1000 women per 100,000 live births, and World Health Organization statistics suggest that 60% of maternal deaths in developing countries are due to PPH, accounting for more than 100,000 maternal deaths per year. [2]  A Practice Bulletin from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists places the estimate at 140,000 maternal deaths per year or 1 woman every 4 minutes. [3]

The rate of PPH increased from 1.5% in 1999 to 4.1% in 2009, and the rate of atonic PPH rose from 1% in 1999 to 3.4% in 2009. The risk of PPH with a morbidly adherent placenta is markedly higher. [4]


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!