Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) continues to be the leading cause of maternal mortality in the U.S. and worldwide. The primary etiology of PPH is uterine atony, followed by trauma, retained placenta and uterine rupture. PPH can occur without risk factors and without warning, but early identification of patients with known risk factors can lead to early recognition, efficient treatment and improved outcomes using standardized protocols. The National Partnership for Maternal Safety (NPMS) recommends the implementation of PPH protocols on all labor and delivery units. These recommended safety bundles and protocols should address the unit’s Readiness, Recognition, Response and Reporting when obstetrical emergencies arise. PPH best practice protocols include checklists, cognitive aids, hemorrhage carts and medication kits. All four tools assist in timely diagnosis and rapid intervention.

Early identification of “at risk” patients is critical to...

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