E228: MDCast w/ Dr. Michael Lauria – Severe Postpartum Hemorrhage

This is the first of a special podcast series on obstetric critical care.  I am joined on this series by Dr. Elizabeth Garchar, MD, FACOG.  She is an OB/GYN and Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist who has a special interest in obstetric critical care.  She is also unique in that she flies regularly with our critical care transport teams and acts as one of our Assistant Medical Directors for the flight program.  So, Dr. Garchar has unique insight into managing this population in transport.

This podcast focuses on severe postpartum hemorrhage.  We discuss the epidemiology and risk factors as well as the nuances of diagnosis, specifically how blood loss is actually quantified in this setting.  We also go through the importance of point-of-care ultrasound to help identify and manage the causes of postpartum hemorrhage.  Then, we transition to the discussion of management, focusing on the medical management of uterine atony, and also go over advanced interventions such as uterine packing, balloon tamponade devices, and REBOA.  Finally, Dr. Garchar discusses the indication and procedure for emergent hysterectomy as well as the post-procedure management critical care transport crews may have to perform.


  1. Practice Bulletin No. 183: Postpartum Hemorrhage. Obstet Gynecol. Oct 2017;130(4):e168-e186. doi:10.1097/aog.0000000000002351
  2. Abdel-Aleem H, Singata M, Abdel-Aleem M, Mshweshwe N, Williams X, Hofmeyr GJ. Uterine massage to reduce postpartum hemorrhage after vaginal delivery. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. Oct 2010;111(1):32-6. doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.04.036
  3. Abul A, Al-Naseem A, Althuwaini A, Al-Muhanna A, Clement NS. Safety and efficacy of intrauterine balloon tamponade vs uterine gauze packing in managing postpartum hemorrhage: A systematic review and meta-analysis. AJOG Glob Rep. Feb 2023;3(1):100135. doi:10.1016/j.xagr.2022.100135
  4. Aibar L, Aguilar MT, Puertas A, Valverde M. Bakri balloon for the management of postpartum hemorrhage. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. Apr 2013;92(4):465-7. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0412.2012.01497.x
  5. Bagga R, Jain V, Kalra J, Chopra S, Gopalan S. Uterovaginal packing with rolled gauze in postpartum hemorrhage. MedGenMed. Feb 13 2004;6(1):50.
  6. Borger van der Burg BLS, van Dongen T, Morrison JJ, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the use of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta in the management of major exsanguination. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. Aug 2018;44(4):535-550. doi:10.1007/s00068-018-0959-y
  7. Castellini G, Gianola S, Biffi A, et al. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) in patients with major trauma and uncontrolled haemorrhagic shock: a systematic review with meta-analysis. World J Emerg Surg. Aug 12 2021;16(1):41. doi:10.1186/s13017-021-00386-9
  8. Collaborators WT. Effect of early tranexamic acid administration on mortality, hysterectomy, and other morbidities in women with post-partum haemorrhage (WOMAN): an international, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. May 27 2017;389(10084):2105-2116. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30638-4
  9. Cunningham FG, Nelson DB. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Syndromes in Obstetrics. Obstet Gynecol. Nov 2015;126(5):999-1011. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001110
  10. D’Alton M, Rood K, Simhan H, Goffman D. Profile of the Jada(R) System: the vacuum-induced hemorrhage control device for treating abnormal postpartum uterine bleeding and postpartum hemorrhage. Expert Rev Med Devices. Sep 2021;18(9):849-853. doi:10.1080/17434440.2021.1962288
  11. Dildy GA, 3rd. Postpartum hemorrhage: new management options. Clin Obstet Gynecol. Jun 2002;45(2):330-44. doi:10.1097/00003081-200206000-00005
  12. Dueckelmann AM, Hinkson L, Nonnenmacher A, et al. Uterine packing with chitosan-covered gauze compared to balloon tamponade for managing postpartum hemorrhage. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. Sep 2019;240:151-155. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2019.06.003
  13. Erez O. Disseminated intravascular coagulation in pregnancy: New insights. Thrombosis Update. 2022;6doi:10.1016/j.tru.2021.100083
  14. Erez O, Mastrolia SA, Thachil J. Disseminated intravascular coagulation in pregnancy: insights in pathophysiology, diagnosis and management. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Oct 2015;213(4):452-63. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2015.03.054
  15. Erez O, Othman M, Rabinovich A, Leron E, Gotsch F, Thachil J. DIC in Pregnancy – Pathophysiology, Clinical Characteristics, Diagnostic Scores, and Treatments. J Blood Med. 2022;13:21-44. doi:10.2147/JBM.S273047
  16. Feng S, Liao Z, Huang H. Effect of prophylactic placement of internal iliac artery balloon catheters on outcomes of women with placenta accreta: an impact study. Anaesthesia. Jul 2017;72(7):853-858. doi:10.1111/anae.13895
  17. Higgins N, Patel SK, Toledo P. Postpartum hemorrhage revisited: new challenges and solutions. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. Jun 2019;32(3):278-284. doi:10.1097/ACO.0000000000000717
  18. Ji SM, Cho C, Choi G, et al. Successful management of uncontrolled postpartum hemorrhage due to morbidly adherent placenta with Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta during emergency cesarean section – A case report. Anesth Pain Med (Seoul). Jul 31 2020;15(3):314-318. doi:10.17085/apm.19051
  19. Kellie FJ, Wandabwa JN, Mousa HA, Weeks AD. Mechanical and surgical interventions for treating primary postpartum haemorrhage. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Jul 1 2020;7(7):CD013663. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD013663
  20. Kogutt BK, Vaught AJ. Postpartum hemorrhage: Blood product management and massive transfusion. Semin Perinatol. Feb 2019;43(1):44-50. doi:10.1053/j.semperi.2018.11.008
  21. Levi M, Toh CH, Thachil J, Watson HG. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of disseminated intravascular coagulation. British Committee for Standards in Haematology. Br J Haematol. Apr 2009;145(1):24-33. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07600.x
  22. Liu C, Gao J, Liu J, et al. Predictors of Failed Intrauterine Balloon Tamponade in the Management of Severe Postpartum Hemorrhage. Front Med (Lausanne). 2021;8:656422. doi:10.3389/fmed.2021.656422
  23. Lohano R, Haq G, Kazi S, Sheikh S. Intrauterine balloon tamponade for the control of postpartum haemorrhage. J Pak Med Assoc. Jan 2016;66(1):22-6.
  24. Maier RC. Control of postpartum hemorrhage with uterine packing. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Aug 1993;169(2 Pt 1):317-21; discussion 321-3. doi:10.1016/0002-9378(93)90082-t
  25. Makin J, Suarez-Rebling DI, Varma Shivkumar P, Tarimo V, Burke TF. Innovative Uses of Condom Uterine Balloon Tamponade for Postpartum Hemorrhage in India and Tanzania. Case Rep Obstet Gynecol. 2018;2018:4952048. doi:10.1155/2018/4952048
  26. Natarajan A, Alaska Pendleton A, Nelson BD, et al. Provider experiences with improvised uterine balloon tamponade for the management of uncontrolled postpartum hemorrhage in Kenya. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. Nov 2016;135(2):210-213. doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2016.05.006
  27. Natarajan A, Kamara J, Ahn R, et al. Provider experience of uterine balloon tamponade for the management of postpartum hemorrhage in Sierra Leone. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. Jul 2016;134(1):83-6. doi:10.1016/j.ijgo.2015.10.026
  28. Okoye HC, Nwagha TU, Ugwu AO, et al. Diagnosis and treatment of bbstetrics disseminated intravascular coagulation in resource limited settings. Afr Health Sci. Mar 2022;22(1):183-190. doi:10.4314/ahs.v22i1.24
  29. Ordonez CA, Manzano-Nunez R, Parra MW, et al. Prophylactic use of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta in women with abnormal placentation: A systematic review, meta-analysis, and case series. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. May 2018;84(5):809-818. doi:10.1097/TA.0000000000001821
  30. Papageorgiou C, Jourdi G, Adjambri E, et al. Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation: An Update on Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Therapeutic Strategies. Clin Appl Thromb Hemost. Dec 2018;24(9_suppl):8S-28S. doi:10.1177/1076029618806424
  31. Pingray V, Widmer M, Ciapponi A, et al. Effectiveness of uterine tamponade devices for refractory postpartum haemorrhage after vaginal birth: a systematic review. BJOG. Oct 2021;128(11):1732-1743. doi:10.1111/1471-0528.16819
  32. Quandalle A, Ghesquiere L, Kyheng M, et al. Impact of intrauterine balloon tamponade on emergency peripartum hysterectomy following vaginal delivery. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. Jan 2021;256:125-129. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2020.10.064
  33. Rattray DD, O’Connell CM, Baskett TF. Acute disseminated intravascular coagulation in obstetrics: a tertiary centre population review (1980 to 2009). J Obstet Gynaecol Can. Apr 2012;34(4):341-347. doi:10.1016/S1701-2163(16)35214-8
  34. Revert M, Rozenberg P, Cottenet J, Quantin C. Intrauterine Balloon Tamponade for Severe Postpartum Hemorrhage. Obstet Gynecol. Jan 2018;131(1):143-149. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002405
  35. Sadek S, Lockey DJ, Lendrum RA, Perkins Z, Price J, Davies GE. Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) in the pre-hospital setting: An additional resuscitation option for uncontrolled catastrophic haemorrhage. Resuscitation. Oct 2016;107:135-8. doi:10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.06.029
  36. Schmid BC, Rezniczek GA, Rolf N, Saade G, Gebauer G, Maul H. Uterine packing with chitosan-covered gauze for control of postpartum hemorrhage. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Sep 2013;209(3):225 e1-5. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2013.05.055
  37. Shimada K, Taniguchi H, Enomoto K, Umeda S, Abe T, Takeuchi I. Hospital transfer for patients with postpartum hemorrhage in Yokohama, Japan: a single-center descriptive study. Acute Med Surg. Jan-Dec 2021;8(1):e716. doi:10.1002/ams2.716
  38. Simpson KR. Update on Evaluation, Prevention, and Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. Mar/Apr 2018;43(2):120. doi:10.1097/NMC.0000000000000406
  39. Singer KE, Morris MC, Blakeman C, et al. Can Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta Fly? Assessing Aortic Balloon Performance for Aeromedical Evacuation. J Surg Res. Oct 2020;254:390-397. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2020.05.021
  40. Snyder JA, Schuerer DJE, Bochicchio GV, Hoofnagle MH. When REBOA grows wings: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta to facilitate aeromedical transport. Trauma Case Rep. Apr 2022;38:100622. doi:10.1016/j.tcr.2022.100622
  41. Soued M, Vivanti AJ, Smiljkovski D, et al. Efficacy of Intra-Uterine Tamponade Balloon in Post-Partum Hemorrhage after Cesarean Delivery: An Impact Study. J Clin Med. Dec 28 2020;10(1)doi:10.3390/jcm10010081
  42. Stensaeth KH, Sovik E, Haig IN, Skomedal E, Jorgensen A. Fluoroscopy-free Resuscitative Endovascular Balloon Occlusion of the Aorta (REBOA) for controlling life threatening postpartum hemorrhage. PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0174520. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0174520
  43. Suarez S, Conde-Agudelo A, Borovac-Pinheiro A, et al. Uterine balloon tamponade for the treatment of postpartum hemorrhage: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. Apr 2020;222(4):293 e1-293 e52. doi:10.1016/j.ajog.2019.11.1287
  44. Theron GB, Mpumlwana V. A case series of post-partum haemorrhage managed using Ellavi uterine balloon tamponade in a rural regional hospital. S Afr Fam Pract (2004). May 11 2021;63(1):e1-e4. doi:10.4102/safp.v63i1.5266
  45. Tran QK, Hollis G, Beher R, et al. Transport of Peripartum Patients for Medical Management: Predictors of Any Intervention During Transport. Cureus. Nov 2022;14(11):e31102. doi:10.7759/cureus.31102
  46. Weir R, Lee J, Almroth S, Taylor J. Flying with a Safety Net: Use of REBOA to Enable Safe Transfer to a Level 1 Trauma Center. Journal of Endovascular Resuscitation and Trauma Management. 2022;5(3)doi:10.26676/jevtm.v5i3.214
  47. Wu Q, Liu Z, Zhao X, et al. Outcome of Pregnancies After Balloon Occlusion of the Infrarenal Abdominal Aorta During Caesarean in 230 Patients With Placenta Praevia Accreta. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. Nov 2016;39(11):1573-1579. doi:10.1007/s00270-016-1418-y
  48. Zeng KW, Ovenell KJ, Alholm Z, Foley MR. Postpartum Hemorrhage Management and Blood Component Therapy. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. Sep 2022;49(3):397-421. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2022.02.001

Are you sure you want to leave this page?