Life Wrap saves mothers' lives beyond clinical trials

The UCSF Safe Motherhood Program and Pathfinder International have completed an evaluation of the real-life use of the Life Wrap non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG) in Nigeria. The Life Wrap is a first aid device that helps women with bleeding during childbirth survive until they can reach a health care facility equipped to offer full obstetric care. From 2007-2012, over 1,100 women who were in shock due to obstetric hemorrhage received treatment with a Life Wrap at 50 facilities across Nigeria. Among women who received the Life Wrap, 17.5% died. Women were more likely to die if they had other complications in addition to bleeding, such as anemia, preeclampsia or eclampsia, sepsis, or stillbirth. They were also more likely to die if they did not receive a blood transfusion.

This report is the first on use of the Life Wrap outside a clinical trial, and the findings suggest that use of the device could reduce death from obstetric hemorrhage. This evaluation used a simple system to collect information about the women's outcomes in non-research facilities which could be replicated in other settings. Wile the Life Wrap is effective, this evaluation underscores the need for a comprehensive approach to the management of pregnancy complications.

This evaluation was made possible by Pathfinder International’s Clinical and Community Action to Address Postpartum Hemorrhage Project in Nigeria. To learn more, see Comorbidities and Lack of Blood Transfusion May Negatively Affect Maternal Outcomes of Women with Obstetric Hemorrhage Treated with NASG, co-authored by UCSF Bixby Center members Alison El-Ayadi, Elizabeth Butrick, and Suellen Miller.