Which includes both antepartum and postpartum haemorrhage

Obstetric haemorrhage, which includes both antepartum and postpartum haemorrhage, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide.

Within the UK, maternal death from obstetric haemorrhage is uncommon, but still causes approximately 7 deaths per year.

Postpartum haemorrhage refers to vaginal bleeding up to 12 weeks following delivery. Prompt recognition and management is key to good outcomes. It should be remembered that earlier antepartum haemorrhage can reduce a patient’s physiological reserve and ability to compensate for bleeding in the postpartum period.

Classification

Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) can be classified as either primary or secondary.

Primary PPH: is defined as vaginal bleeding that occurs from delivery of baby to 24 hrs postpartum.

Secondary PPH: is defined as vaginal bleeding from 24 hrs postpartum to 12 weeks postpartum.