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Atonic Postpartum Hemorrhage: Blood Loss, Risk Factors, and Third Stage Management

By Sarka Lisonkova, Azar Mehrabadi, Victoria M. Allen, Emmanuel Bujold, Joan M.G. Crane, Laura Gaudet, Robert J. Gratton, Noor Niyar N. Ladhani, Olufemi A. Olatunbosun and K.S. Joseph


AbstractObjectiveAtonic postpartum hemorrhage rates have increased in many industrialized countries in recent years. We examined the blood loss, risk factors, and management of the third stage of labour associated with atonic postpartum hemorrhage.MethodsWe carried out a case-control study of patients in eight tertiary care hospitals in Canada between January 2011 and December 2013. Cases were defined as women with a diagnosis of atonic postpartum hemorrhage, and controls (without postpartum hemorrhage) were matched with cases by hospital and date of delivery. Estimated blood loss, risk factors, and management of the third stage labour were compared between cases and controls. Conditional logistic regression was used to adjust for confounding.ResultsThe study included 383 cases and 383 controls. Cases had significantly higher mean estimated blood loss than controls. However, 16.7% of cases who delivered vaginally and 34.1% of cases who delivered by Caesarean section (CS) had a blood loss of < 500 mL and < 1000 mL, respectively; 8.2% of controls who delivered vaginally and 6.7% of controls who delivered by CS had blood loss consistent with a diagnosis of postpartum hemorrhage. Factors associated with atonic postpartum hemorrhage included known protective factors (e.g., delivery by CS) and risk factors (e.g., nulliparity, vaginal birth after CS). Uterotonic use was more common in cases than in controls (97.6% vs. 92.9%, P < 0.001). Delayed cord clamping was only used among those who delivered vaginally (7.7% cases vs. 14.6% controls, P = 0.06).ConclusionThere is substantial misclassification in the diagnosis of atonic postpartum hemorrhage, and this could potentially explain the observed temporal increase in postpartum hemorrhage rates

Publisher: The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada/La Société des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Canada.
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.jogc.2016.06.014
OAI identifier:

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