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Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Oct;108(4):1039-47.

ACOG Practice Bulletin: Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists Number 76, October 2006: postpartum hemorrhage.


Severe bleeding is the single most significant cause of maternal death world-wide. More than half of all maternal deaths occur within 24 hours of delivery, most commonly from excessive bleeding. It is estimated that worldwide, 140,000 women die of postpartum hemorrhage each year-one every 4 minutes (1). In addition to death, serious morbidity may follow postpartum hemorrhage. Sequelae include adult respiratory distress syndrome, coagulopathy, shock, loss of fertility, and pituitary necrosis (Sheehan syndrome). Although many risk factors have been associated with postpartum hemorrhage, it often occurs without warning. All obstetric units and practitioners must have the facilities, personnel, and equipment in place to manage this emergency properly. Clinical drills to enhance the management of maternal hemorrhage have been recommended by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (2). The purpose of this bulletin is to review the etiology, evaluation, and management of postpartum hemorrhage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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