Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Managing postpartum haemorrhage

Midwifery education module 2

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 236
Languages: English, Portuguese
ISBN: 9241546662 (printed); 9241547062 (CD-ROM)



In order that students may fully understand how postpartum haemorrhage occurs, this module begins with a detailed explanation of the physiology and management of the third stage of labour. Students then learn what postpartum haemorrhage is, how it occurs, what factors contribute to it and how it can be identified, and the critical points for management.

The skills specific to preventing and managing postpartum haemorrhage include: identification of the factors which place women at risk for postpartum haemorrhage; management of the third stage of labour; massaging the uterus and expelling clots; applying bimanual compression to the uterus; applying manual compression to the aorta; suturing perineal tears; suturing an episiotomy; repair of cervical and high vaginal tears; and manual removal of the placenta. The general skills in this module include: urinary catheterization; taking and recording observations; taking blood samples for analysis; setting up and monitoring intravenous infusions; monitoring blood transfusion; universal precautions for prevention of infection, and maintaining records. Some of these general skills are also included in the other technical modules.

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