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Br J Anaesth. 2005 May;94(5):592-5. Epub 2005 Feb 11.

Recombinant factor VIIa for life-threatening post-partum haemorrhage.

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Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland.


The treatment of life-threatening post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) still remains challenging, and hysterectomy may be required to control the bleeding. We present 12 cases of severe PPH treated with recombinant factor VIIa (rFVIIa). We briefly describe the causes of the haemorrhage and the medical and surgical interventions before rVIIa administration. In 11 women there was a partial or good response to rFVIIa administration, while in one there was no response. In the four women undergoing a subsequent selective arterial embolization, the bleeding was significantly reduced although not completely stopped. From our experience with these 12 cases, and from previously reported cases, the use of rFVIIa may be of benefit in life-threatening PPH. However, treatment with rFVIIa, in addition to standard surgical and medical interventions, may not be definitive in every patient and a selective arterial embolization may be needed.

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