According to researchers from WHO and the University of Birmingham, a groundbreaking study released today shows that E-MOTIVE, a novel approach, may greatly reduce mortality from childbirth-related bleeding. Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the biggest cause of maternal death globally, defined as the loss of more than 500 mL of blood within 24 hours of giving birth. It affects an estimated 14 million women annually and contributes to over 70,000 deaths, with the majority occurring in low- and middle-income countries, amounting to one death every six minutes.
Although terrifying and not always anticipated, postpartum hemorrhage is completely curable. However, its effects have catastrophic consequences on a global scale, as stated by Dr. Pascale Allotey, director of sexual and reproductive health and research at WHO and in charge of the UN’s special program for research, development, and research training in human reproduction (HRP). “A lady shouldn’t worry about losing her life during childbirth. All women should have access to practical postpartum bleeding treatments so they can give birth safely and enjoy a healthy future with their families.
What study says
The study, which involved more than 200,000 women in four countries, discovered that bundling together WHO-recommended treatments instead of providing them sequentially led to dramatic improvements in outcomes for women. The study used a simple, low-cost collection device called a “drape” to objectively measure blood loss. It resulted in a 60% reduction in the risk of severe bleeding, which occurs when a woman loses more than a liter of blood after giving birth, and a lower mortality rate. In low-income nations, where blood is a scarce and expensive resource, it is crucial to significantly reduce the rate of blood transfusions for bleeding.
Late discovery of PPH is a major challenge. Healthcare professionals rely on eye inspection, underestimating blood loss and causing fatal treatment delays. Sequential treatment with breaks leads to longer durations if initial interventions fail.
Professor Arri Coomarasamy, trial’s principal investigator and Co-Director of WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Women’s Health, said the new method for treating postpartum hemorrhage “could drastically improve women’s chances of surviving childbirth worldwide, ensuring timely treatment.” Prompt interventions will revolutionize maternal health by preventing delays in identification and treatment.
The E-MOTIVE kit includes a blood-collection drape for precise PPH detection and an emergency treatment package with uterine massage, drugs, fluid administration, assessment, and escalation to advanced care if needed.An implementation plan with specialized training, PPH trolleys, local champions, audits, and feedback supported the E-MOTIVE intervention. Midwives can perform all steps of the E-MOTIVE intervention.
Global Summit on PPH
During the first Global Summit on PPH, organized by WHO and HRP in March of this year, more than 130 experts from over 50 countries selected one of the top research goals, which this study addresses. The Summit marked the initiation of an international collaboration aimed at significantly reducing the burden of PPH and its effects in low- and middle-income nations.
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