Eliminating a Leading Cause of Maternal Death
In the U.S., approximately 5 percent of women giving birth—roughly 200,000 each year—have deliveries that are complicated by a potentially lethal obstetric hemorrhage. While this loss of blood can have severe consequences for both mother and baby, those adverse consequences often may be preventable.
The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is engaged in a multi-year research program to reduce the life threatening consequences which make this complication a leading cause of maternal death. The research team, led by Dr. William Grobman, hypothesizes that obstetric hemorrhage and its complications can be reduced through a multidisciplinary approach that (1) applies best practices in obstetric care in a systematic way; (2) determines whether additional delivery-room strategies could limit unfavorable outcomes; and (3) examines whether pre-existing biologic factors predispose women to obstetric hemorrhage.
In the first stage of the project, physicians and health professionals successfully developed a multidisciplinary clinical protocol at Northwestern’s Prentice Women’s Hospital aimed at reducing the occurrence of obstetric hemorrhaging and related complications. They also developed an educational program that has significantly improved the ability to estimate blood loss. As the study continues, Dr. Grobman and his team are assessing different techniques for managing obstetric hemorrhages, in the hopes of identifying specific clinical strategies which can further reduce the risk of complications.
Learn more about the research on obstetric hemorrhage.