Why are so many mothers dying of postpartum haemorrhage?

23 Jun 2015

Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) is a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in both the developed and developing world. In South Africa, obstetric haemorrhage is the second most common cause of maternal death resulting in 688 deaths between 2008-2010.1 The institutional maternal mortality rate (MMR) for obstetric haemorrhage during this period was 24.9 deaths per 100 000 live births. This is an increase from the previous triennium when the total deaths due to obstetric haemorrhage was 491 and the MMR 18.8.2 Countries such as Australia, Canada, United States and Ireland have reported increasing trends in post-partum haemorrhage over the last decade.3-6 However the rise in postpartum haemorrhage rates in these countries have not been associated with increasing haemorrhage-related maternal mortality rates.