Pregnancy

Postpartum haemorrhage the leading cause of maternal death

About postpartum haemorrhage (PPH),  According to the World health organisation (WHO), Every year about 14 million women around the world suffer from postpartum haemorrhage (PPH). This severe bleeding after birth is the largest direct cause of maternal deaths. Shockingly, 99% of the deaths from PPH occur in low- and middle-income countries compared with only 1% in high-income countries although recent studies are showing that it is increasingly an issue of concern for wealthier countries too. In addition to the suffering and loss of women’s lives, when women die in childbirth, their babies also face a much greater risk of dying within one month compared to babies whose mothers survive.

Any sort of bleeding which occurs after childbirth is regarded as postpartum bleeding. Sometimes it is normal. There is a certain amount of blood loss which occurs due to the removal of the placenta from the uterus. This amount varies according to the kind of childbirth undergone by the woman. In the case of vaginal birth, the amount of blood loss reaches up to 500ml. In case of a cesarean birth, the amount is more. The average blood loss for a cesarean birth is about 1000ml.

Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is defined as blood loss of more than 500 mL following the vaginal delivery or more than 1000 mL following cesarean delivery.

Postpartum haemorrhage ( PPH) can be of two types:

  • Primary Postpartum haemorrhage: This is the incidence of Postpartum that occurs within 24 hours of delivery

  • secondary postpartum haemorrhage: This is the incidence of Postpartum that occur as bleeding in excess of normal lochia after twenty four hours and up to six weeks postpartum.

    What Causes Postpartum Hemorrhage?

Once a baby is delivered, the uterus normally continues to contract (tightening of uterine muscles) and expels the placenta. After the placenta is delivered, these contractions help compress the bleeding vessels in the area where the placenta was attachejkj d. If the uterus does not contract strongly enough, called uterine atony, these blood vessels bleed freely and haemorrhage occurs. This is the most common cause of postpartum haemorrhage. If small pieces of the placenta remain attached, bleeding is also likely.
Other risk factors include; prolonged labour, placental abruption, placenta previa, overdistended uterus, multiple pregnancies.
Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) can cause a severe drop in the mother’s blood pressure and may lead to shock and death if not treated.

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Signs that you have Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH)

As a New Mum, you may have PPH if you have any of these signs or symptoms. If you do, visit your healthcare provider right away:

  • Heavy bleeding from the vagina that doesn’t slow or stops
  • Drop in blood pressure or signs of shock. Signs of low blood pressure and shock include blurry vision; having chills, clammy skin or a really fast heartbeat; feeling confused dizzy, sleepy or weak; or feeling like you’re going to faint.
  • Nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) or throwing up
  • Pale skin
  • Swelling and pain around the vagina or perineum. (The perineum is the area between the vagina and rectum)

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DID YOU OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO SUFFERS FROM PPH?

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