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Revolutionising diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening post-partum haemorrhage

Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) accounts for 27% of all maternal deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The burden of PPH disproportionately affects mothers from low- and middle-income countries, which account for 86% of all maternal deaths.

PPH is defined as blood loss from the genital tract of 500 ml or more within 24 hours of birth. PPH usually happens within a day of giving birth, but it can occur up to six weeks after a birth.

To find possible solutions to the terrible problem of PPH, researchers at BHP founder-member the University of Birmingham are conducting the E-MOTIVE trial based on the WHO ‘first response bundle’ in five countries: Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria.

Kristie-Marie Mammoliti, one of the lead researchers for the University of Birmingham explained the thinking behind the trial: “Surviving childbirth shouldn’t be a privilege; it should be the norm. Tragically this is not the case for so many women around the world. As PPH is the leading cause of maternal mortality globally, we are working together with our low and middle-income country partners to find solutions to stop women from bleeding to death after childbirth.”

Professor Hadiza Galadanci, from one of the University’s partners in Nigeria, commented: “One of the most frightening sights in Obstetrics is to see blood pouring from a woman after birth and to try all you can to stop it and you are not able to. If E-MOTIVE strategy is implemented in low- and middle-income countries, the light at the end of the tunnel to reducing maternal deaths due to PPH will be bright.”

The E-MOTIVE trial has the potential to revolutionise how medical institutions diagnose and treat PPH, and remove it from the list of life-threatening conditions facing pregnant women.

As we approach International Mother’s Day on Sunday 9 May, it is important for everyone to care and be aware of the risks that women across the world face when bringing life into the world, and how these risks can be reduced.