Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research into bleeding prevention post-birth could save lives

Date:
December 17, 2012
Source:
Bournemouth University
Summary:
Research brings together evidence about the potential for misoprostol to prevent bleeding after home births in low resource countries.

Research brings together evidence about the potential for misoprostol to prevent bleeding after home births in low resource countries.

A new research review published November 27 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology demonstrates that taking the tablet misoprostol after the birth of the baby helps prevent postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) (a blood loss of more than 500ml) amongst women delivering at home. The evidence for this is strongest in two studies in India and Pakistan, where frontline health workers attended the delivery and provided the tablets.

Every day about 800 women die from complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of these deaths occur in low resource countries and many are the result of bleeding following the birth of the baby.

Previously published reviews have examined medications to prevent PPH, but this is the first to focus on misoprostol taken orally (as a tablet) in a home birth setting. "We know that another medication, oxytocin, is the most effective means of preventing PPH. However, it requires cold storage and needs to be given by a skilled birth attendant. The reality is that many women in low resource countries give birth in settings that offer neither of these things. For these women having access to a simple oral tablet that reduces their chance of bleeding heavily after their baby is born could be lifesaving." said lead researcher Professor Vanora Hundley of Bournemouth University.

Dr Bilal Avan, Scientific Coordinator for IDEAS, an evaluation project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine working with partners in areas where maternal and newborn mortality burdens are high, said:

"Given the poor health system infrastructure and lack of skilled staff in low resource settings, there is significant potential for the innovative use of technologies or drugs, like misoprostol, for safe home deliveries. Although by no means a substitute for giving birth in a health facility, using misoprostol at a home delivery could be an effective intermediate measure until health systems in these settings achieve acceptable standards of service delivery."

The authors from Bournemouth University, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of Aberdeen and INOVA Fairfax, analysed data from six trials involving a total of 10,798 women who gave birth at home in low and middle income countries. Although all six trials showed some benefits from the use of misoprostol, only two -- both in South Asia ‐ provided sufficiently‐robust evidence to draw firm conclusions, and thus further trials are needed in other types of home birth settings.

There are also concerns about potential adverse effects. The review shows that self‐limiting effects such as shivering and fever were more common among the group of women that took misoprostol. However, in all studies there was limited data on adverse effects for the baby or the potential for inappropriate or inadvertent use of the tablets.

As emphasized by Professor Wendy Graham from the University of Aberdeen "Deciding when evidence of a medication is strong enough and sufficiently generalizable to recommend wide‐scale adoption is often difficult, particularly where health systems are weak, and where the drug also carries some risks. From our review, we highlight the need to continue to build the evidence base to inform routine use of misoprostol across the very diverse circumstances in which homes birth take place, and to develop local implementation and safety guidelines.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Bournemouth University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. VA Hundley, BI Avan, CJ Sullivan, WJ Graham. Should oral misoprostol be used to prevent postpartum haemorrhage in home-birth settings in low-resource countries? A systematic review of the evidence. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.12049

Cite This Page:

Bournemouth University. "Research into bleeding prevention post-birth could save lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217110643.htm>.
Bournemouth University. (2012, December 17). Research into bleeding prevention post-birth could save lives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217110643.htm
Bournemouth University. "Research into bleeding prevention post-birth could save lives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121217110643.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins