Medical and conservative surgical management of postpartum hemorrhage.

George Stanley Condous, Sabaratnam Arulkumaran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Massive postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a major cause of maternal mortality in the United Kingdom and worldwide. Life-threatening PPH occurs with a frequency of 1 in 1000 deliveries in the developed world. In the latest triennial Why Mothers Die: Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom (1997-1999), PPH was the fifth most common cause of maternal mortality. In this review, we discuss the role of medical management in primary PPH and the use of the "tamponade test" when such management fails. The less radical surgical options discussed include uterine compression sutures, uterine or internal iliac artery ligation, and arterial embolization, all of which have the advantage of potentially preserving reproductive function. Radical surgical options, including subtotal or total hysterectomy, are not discussed in this review. A systematic or algorithmic method of tackling the problem is described. The suggested management approach is likely to reduce maternal morbidity from bleeding, hysterectomies, and maternal deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)931-936
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of obstetrics and gynaecology Canada : JOGC = Journal d'obstétrique et gynécologie du Canada : JOGC
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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