The Role of Thromboelastography during the Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage: Background, Evidence, and Practical Application

Semin Thromb Hemost. 2023 Mar;49(2):145-161. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-1757895. Epub 2022 Nov 1.


Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a common cause of significant maternal morbidity and mortality that can be associated with coagulopathy, especially hypofibrinogenemia. There is interest in point-of-care viscoelastic hemostatic assays (POC-VHA) in PPH because prompt knowledge of coagulation status can aid diagnosis, identify cases of severe coagulopathy, and allow ongoing monitoring during rapid bleeding. The incidence of coagulopathy in most cases of PPH is low because of the procoagulant state of pregnancy, including raised fibrinogen levels of around 4 to 6 g/L. A Clauss fibrinogen of >2 g/L or POC-VHA equivalent has been found to be adequate for hemostasis during PPH. POC-VHA has been used successfully to diagnose hypofibrinogenemia (Clauss fibrinogen of ≤2 g/L) and guide fibrinogen treatment which has reduced bleed size and complications of massive transfusion. There are uncertainties about the use of POC-VHA to direct fresh frozen plasma and platelet administration during PPH. Several POC-VHA algorithms have been used successfully incorporated in the management of many thousands of PPHs and clinicians report that they are easy to use, interpret, and aid decision making. Due to the relative cost of POC-VHA and lack of definitive data on improving outcomes, these devices have not been universally adopted during PPH.

MeSH terms

  • Afibrinogenemia* / complications
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Fibrinogen / therapeutic use
  • Hemostatics*
  • Humans
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage* / diagnosis
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Thrombelastography


  • Hemostatics
  • Fibrinogen