Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is estimated to occur in up to 6% of all births worldwide,i resulting in around 70,000 deaths every year.ii
It is believed to affect 5-15 births out of every 100 in Australia. It typically occurs within 24 hours of delivery, though secondary PPH can happen up to 6 weeks post birth. The most common cause is abnormal contractions in the uterus after birth, which can lead to continued bleeding from vessels that previously delivered blood to the placenta. Although there are no absolute risk factors for PPH, a higher number of births, a stretched uterus, a bleeding disorder, a very long or speedy labour and several other aspects might increase the chance of PPH. Other causes include injury to the uterus, cervix, vagina or perineum and problems with the placenta.iii
The unpredictability of the condition makes it very difficult to prevent, and therefore being able to react and treat PPH quickly and effectively is essential. It is estimated that up to 93% of haemorrhage-related maternal deaths could be avoided with enhanced clinical care.iv
So, what should this care look like?
Transfusion therapy has been used to treat PPH for over 100 years, and modern technology is designed to facilitate fast and efficient treatment. The goal is to restore intravascular volume in order to increase the window of opportunity to treat the patient successfully.
To achieve this, the clinical team needs access to purpose-built, high flow rate equipment that can be trusted to deliver warmed blood. That is why the Belmont® Rapid Infuser RI-2 is trusted in extreme and emergency situations in hospitals for more than two decades.
It is a top-of-the-line medical device that delivers warmed, bubble-free, aluminium-free blood and I.V. fluids at a rate of either 2.5 to 750ml per minute, or 2.5 to 1000ml per minute, depending on the model. It is also very easy to use and fast to implement during an emergency situation, with built-in ultrasonic air detectors and a patient safety valve designed to prevent air emboli. Therefore, it is a truly life-saving device and a must-have in the Emergency Room and Critical Care Environments, such as the labour and delivery room.
Uncontrollable bleeding during and after childbirth can very quickly become a life-threatening emergency. A rapid and effective response is the only way to save lives and ensure that no child has to grow up without a mother due to PPH. This can only be realised with reliable, clinically proven equipment.
i Wormer KC, Jamil RT, Bryant SB. Acute Postpartum Hemorrhage. May 2023. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499988/ [Accessed June 2023]
ii World Health Organization. WHO postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) summit. September 2022. https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/who-postpartum-haemorrhage-(pph)-summit#:~:text=Each%20year%2C%20about%2014%20million,with%20life%2Dlong%20reproductive%20disability. [Accessed May 2023]
iii Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. Pregnancy birth & baby. Postpartum haemorrhage. https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/postpartum-haemorrhage#:~:text=Postpartum%20haemorrhage%20is%20very%20serious,every%20100%20births%20in%20Australia. [Accessed May 2023]
iv Bingham D, Jones R. Maternal death from obstetric hemorrhage. Jnl of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing. 2012;41:531–539.