Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the largest contributor to maternal mortality, occurring in between 1 and 5% of deliveries. Prophylactic uterotonics are widely recommended to prevent atonic hemorrhage. Rapid recognition of PPH and identification of hemorrhage etiology is essential to reduce mortality and morbidity. Treatment is etiology-specific and comprises a range of medical, mechanical, temporizing and surgical procedures. Important developments from trauma and emergency medicine around massive hemorrhage protocols are newly implemented for PPH, and the evidence base for PPH medical management is expanding, with clinical trials ongoing. Improving the management of PPH in limited-resource settings will require continued attention to ensure the availability of low-cost accessible prevention and treatment options, in addition to a focus on skilled care providers.
Expert Rev of Obstet Gynecol. 2013;8(6):525-537. © 2013 Expert Reviews Ltd.