Postpartum hemorrhage management in 2012: predicting the future.
Transfusion therapy in postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) traditionally has been modeled after precedents set in the Vietnam and Korean wars. However, data from recent military combat casualties suggest a different transfusion strategy. Transfusion of packed red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma, and platelets in a ratio of 1:1:1 improves dilutional coagulopathy and survival. Women who present with low fibrinogen at the time of diagnosis of PPH have poorer outcomes and might benefit from early fibrinogen replacement. The antifibrinolytic agent, tranexamic acid, decreases bleeding and progression to severe PPH, but its role in PPH management is evolving. Observational data suggest that the use of recombinant factor VIIa should be limited to bleeding that has not responded to an optimal transfusion strategy. Point-of-care testing using thromboelastography is helpful in guiding the selection of blood products to be transfused. Additionally, massive transfusion protocols can decrease the overall number of products transfused and improve outcomes.
Onwuemene, O; Green, D; Keith, L
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