Objective: To evaluate our experience with the "pelvic pressure pack," a surgical technique for controlling posthysterectomy bleeding.
Methods: This is an observational descriptive report of cases collected by the authors during the years 1968-2006. Packs were constructed of various materials (eg, pillow cases, gauze sheets, plastic X-ray cassette drapes, or orthopedic stockings) filled with gauze rolls introduced abdominally and exiting the vagina.
Results: We report 11 new cases (10 obstetric and one gynecologic). Massive red blood cell transfusion and coagulopathy occurred in all cases. The pelvic pressure pack successfully controlled bleeding in 82% (9 of 11) of cases. Postoperative febrile morbidity occurred in most cases. There were no maternal deaths.
Conclusion: In the contemporary management of posthysterectomy bleeding, the pelvic pressure pack appears to be a valuable surgical option, affording correction of coagulopathy and further stabilization. Given near-universal postoperative febrile morbidity in our series, prophylactic broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy should be strongly considered. We believe all obstetrician-gynecologists should be familiar with this simple, potentially life-saving technique.
Level of evidence: III.