What are the mortality rates for postpartum hemorrhage (PPH)?

Updated: Jan 02, 2018
  • Author: Maame Yaa A B Yiadom, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE  more...
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Answer

Although accountable for only 8% of maternal deaths in developed countries, postpartum hemorrhage is the second leading single cause of maternal mortality, ranking behind preeclampsia/eclampsia. [1]  Globally, postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality. The condition is responsible for 25% of delivery-associated deaths, [2]  and this figure is as high as 60% in some countries. International initiatives to improve outcomes have invested in training birth attendants (traditional or otherwise) and nurse midwives on the active management of the third stage of labor (the period immediately after delivering of the infant). Most efforts focus on uterine atony, which is the primary cause of postpartum hemorrhage. This has included education on manual techniques to increase uterine contraction-retraction and making pharmacologic uterotonic agents (oxytocin and misoprostol) more available. [3, 4, 5]


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