Simple device reduces postpartum bleeding in critical care patients

Bixby researchers have previously proven that a simple, low-tech device, known as a non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG), can prevent maternal deaths due to severe postpartum bleeding. A new study tested the garment’s effectiveness in a critical care setting in Colombia.

NASG ready for use
A group of 77 women with severe postpartum bleeding and shock received the garment—mostly in conjunction with other interventions required in critical care situations. Within six hours of being wrapped in the garment, all 77 women had recovered normal heart rate and blood pressure.

The garment also appeared to reduce the need for other serious interventions, an effect that could be especially beneficial in low-resource settings. For example, the literature suggests that 90 percent of women with extreme bleeding will need a blood transfusion. Only 40 percent of the women in this study with extreme levels of bleeding needed a transfusion.

In addition to demonstrating that NASGs can be effective for highly complex patients, this study also showed that they can be used safely in conjunction with other critical care interventions, including surgeries and obstetric balloons. NASGs may even improve the effectiveness of other interventions and, in some cases, prevent the need for them.

Overall, this study’s results reinforce the 2014 FIGO recommendation that NASGs be “made available wherever feasible…at all levels of the healthcare system.”