Major obstetric hemorrhage management


  • Maria Grazia Frigo Unità operativa di Anestesia e Terapia Intensiva in Ostetricia, Ospedale Fatebenefratelli, Isola Tiberina, Roma - Italy



Blood coagulation, Obstetric Labor Complications, Postoperative hemorrhage, Postpartum hemorrhage, Pregnancy complications


 Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is to this day one of the leading causes of maternal death and its diagnosis is still highly subjective, as it relies on unprecise estimates of the amount of blood loss. There are three areas in which PPH outcomes can be improved: prevention, treatment and rescue. PPH can escalate to a graver clinical picture of Severe Acute Maternal Morbidity (SAMM) due to an inaccurate estimate of the blood loss, inability to identify an at-risk patient, delays in testing and availability of hemoderivatives, and lack of clear guidelines and interdisciplinary communication. Many factors can predispose to PPH and in clinical practice the many causes of its insurgence are summarized with the 4T formula: Tone (uterine atony), Trauma (laceration/hematoma), Tissue (retained tissue/invasive placenta), Thrombin (coagulation). Some precautions can be taken in preventing PPH such as the use of uterotonics, the administration of oxytocin, the timing of umbilical cord clamping, and the monitoring of anemia and the platelet to fibrinogen concentration ratio. In recent years studies have been published with the goal of leading PPH diagnosis and management through universal guidelines, point-of-care  testing and interdisciplinary approaches. The proposed algorithms, albeit not yet validated, are useful in the clinical practice; similarly beneficial is the use of reliable predictive panels such as the Modified Early Obstetric Warning System.


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How to Cite

Frigo MG. Major obstetric hemorrhage management. abtpn [Internet]. 2022 Jul. 31 [cited 2022 Oct. 1];9(1):61-5. Available from:



Focus on the management of critical bleeding