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Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2005 Jul;84(7):660-4.

Use of Sengstaken-Blakemore tube in massive postpartum hemorrhage: a series of 17 cases.

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  • 1Service de Gynéco-obstetrique du centre interhospitalier Eure-Seine, hôpital d'Evreux, Evreux cedex, France.



To evaluate the efficacy and identify the indications of intrauterine tamponade with a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube in acute postpartum hemorrhage.


Retrospective study was performed in 17 female patients with massive postpartum hemorrhage despite appropriate medical treatment, and requiring surgery (embolization techniques were not available in our hospital). Patients were treated by inserting a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube in the uterus through the vagina in case of vaginal delivery or through the hysterotomy incision in case of cesarean section. The esophageal balloon was inflated with 250 ml of isotonic saline solution. Patients underwent regional or general anesthesia. A preventive treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics was systematically administered.


Tamponade treatment prevented surgery in 88% of patients, hemorrhage was controlled in 71% of cases (reducing the need for embolization by 80%), and waiting for a transfer for embolization was made possible for 18% of patients.


Intrauterine tamponade with a Sengstaken-Blakemore tube appears as a simple, low-cost, readily available and effective means of treating life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage. The only apparent contraindication is the discovery of an infection during delivery.

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