Background: Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the single most common cause of maternal death in the world, and oxytocin is known to be effective for its prevention and treatment. The use of syringes can be problematic in areas affected by HIV. The aim of this study was to introduce Uniject (a new disposable device for administration of 10 IU oxytocin) as part of active management of the third stage of labor (AMTL) and try to reduce PPH.
Methods: A prospective, comparative study was performed between March 1998 and May 2000 in Luanda. Seven hundred and eighty-two parturient women with physiological management were compared to 814 with AMTL. Postpartum lost blood was collected using a plastic sheet during labor and a bucket placed under a cholera bed for 2 h postpartum. Student's t-test and chi(2) test were used.
Result: PPH was reduced from 40.4 to 8.2% and severe PPH (> or =1000 ml) from 7.5 to 1% in the AMTL group (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Uniject was well tolerated and offers an alternative for oxytocin administration. AMTL should be implemented also in resource-poor settings as a routine management to reduce PPH.