Clinical profile of maternal deaths due to postpartum haemorrhage

Vidyadhar B. Bangal, Parikshit Jondhale, Satyajit Gavhane, Krupa Mange


Background: Postpartum haemorrhage is one of the dreadful complications that occur during delivery. It is often un-anticipated and occurs suddenly and un-expectedly. It is responsible for 20 percent of maternal deaths in developing countries. These deaths are largely preventable. The objective of the study was to find out the clinical profile, associated co-morbid conditions and contributory factors and treatment modalities used in the management.

Methods: Retrospective observational study of maternal deaths due to postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) was carried out at tertiary care hospital. The data of maternal deaths for seven years from year 2013 to 2019 was reviewed, compiled and analyzed to draw conclusions.

Results: There were 18 maternal deaths (19%) due to PPH out of total 86 maternal deaths. The average age of the woman who died due to PPH was 24 years. Ninety five percent of the cases of PPH were due to atonic uterus. Seventy percent of the cases had reported in advanced stage of shock with average blood loss of more than two to three litres. Poor general condition due to delay in reaching to tertiary care hospital was predominant feature. Sixty percent women underwent obstetric hysterectomy. Massive blood transfusion was given in fifty percent cases. Severe pregnancy induced hypertension, severe anaemia and severe concealed accidental haemorrhage were common associated factors in sixty percent of maternal deaths.

Conclusions: Postpartum haemorrhage is still a common cause of maternal death. Early detection, prompt aggressive management, adequate blood replacement, use of uterine balloon tamponade and non-pneumatic anti-shock garment, timely transfer to higher centre and timely decision for surgical interventions can prevent maternal deaths.


Maternal mortality ratio, Non pneumatic anti-shock garment, Obstetric hysterectomy, Postpartum haemorrhage, Shock index, Uterine balloon tamponade

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