Successful treatment of life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage with recombinant activated factor VII

Obstet Gynecol. 2003 Jun;101(6):1174-6. doi: 10.1016/s0029-7844(03)00350-8.


Background: Postpartum hemorrhage is one of the most common causes of maternal mortality and morbidity worldwide. The aims of treatment are to maintain the circulation and to stop the bleeding. The latter is achieved by either medical or surgical management. In intractable bleeding, emergency hysterectomy is usually required.

Case: A 30-year-old nullipara presented with major postpartum hemorrhage due to uterine atony and vaginal lacerations. The patient developed hemorrhagic shock, resulting in prolonged prothrombin time, prolonged activated partial thromboplastin time, and low levels of factor VIII and fibrinogen. Treatments with uterotonic drugs, suturing, ligation of internal iliac arteries, subtotal hysterectomy, packing of the pelvis, and blood transfusion failed to control diffuse pelvic and vaginal bleeding. Recombinant activated factor VIIa (60-microg/kg intravenous bolus injection) was given as a final attempt to control the bleeding. The bleeding was successfully controlled within 10 minutes after administration. No side effects were noted.

Conclusion: Recombinant factor VIIa may be an alternative hemostatic agent in a patient with life-threatening postpartum hemorrhage unresponsive to conventional therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation Tests
  • Factor VIIa / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / drug therapy*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / etiology
  • Uterine Inertia / complications
  • Vagina / injuries


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Factor VIIa