Pneumatic anti-shock garments for obstetric hemorrhage in an integrated healthcare system

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of New Mexico
Organization Location: 
Albuquerque, NM, USA

Obstetric hemorrhage remains a major cause of death and disability for young women in low resource areas, particularly those from isolated rural areas. Most hemorrhage is postpartum and due to failure of the uterus to respond to hormonal stimulation. However, not all hemorrhage is due to atony and not all atonic uteruses respond to medications. Pneumatic anti-shock garments (PASG) have the potential to minimize blood loss, complications, and mortality from obstetric hemorrhage due to any etiology. Commercially available versions can be used in hospitals, and basic devices can be used in home deliveries and in small or remote facilities. PASG can be used during transport over difficult terrain, and has the potential to improve morbidity and mortality in both the hospital and the field. A dedicated, expedited referral network of major hospitals and integrated outreach locations and the use of calibrated blood collection drapes will attack important delays in care by improving speed of recognition of complications and the need for emergency interventions. These interventions combined will serve to improve obstetric service and ultimately increase demand for deliveries by skilled birth attendants. PASG provide more pressure and a much greater decrease in pelvic blood flow than other compressive devices. They are easy to use and can be used along with all other treatments for hemorrhage. The basic PASG are very inexpensive and can be made and maintained in low resource settings.

See video