Postpartum hemorrhage: evidence-based medical interventions for prevention and treatment

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Mar;53(1):165-81. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181ce0965.


Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) remains a significant contributor to maternal morbidity and mortality throughout the world. The majority of research on this topic has focused on efforts to prevent PPH. Sound data exist that active management of the third stage of labor can reduce the occurrence of PPH. Although there remains debate regarding the optimal protocol for active management, it appears at this time that oxytocin is the preferable uterotonic to use. Misoprostol may be a reasonable option where parenteral administration of an uterotonic is not feasible. There is little evidence to guide treatment decisions should PPH occur.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Transfusion / methods
  • Ergot Alkaloids / administration & dosage
  • Ergot Alkaloids / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hemostatic Techniques
  • Humans
  • Labor Stage, Third
  • Misoprostol / administration & dosage
  • Misoprostol / adverse effects
  • Oxytocics / administration & dosage
  • Oxytocics / adverse effects
  • Oxytocin / administration & dosage
  • Oxytocin / adverse effects
  • Oxytocin / agonists
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Pregnancy


  • Ergot Alkaloids
  • Oxytocics
  • Misoprostol
  • Oxytocin