Postpartum haemorrhage 'drastically reduced' in Kerala

Obstetrician-gynaecologists in Kerala, south-west India have praised a quality standards manual published by the state's Health Department that instructs staff in dealing with postpartum haemorrhage.

"All of us gynaecology unit chiefs are able to sleep peacefully at night these days," C Nirmala, head of the ob-gyn department at SAT Hospital, told the Hindu. "[Postpartum haemorrhage] referral emergencies have come down drastically in the past five months."

Postpartum haemorrhage is a life-threatening condition in which a woman bleeds excessively after childbirth. Alongside high blood pressure, it is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Kerala.

However, since the introduction of the manual, SAT Hospital has not recorded a single death due to the condition. Beforehand, it reported at least one postpartum haemorrhage death per month.

This is because health centres that would otherwise have referred cases to the hospital are able to manage the condition themselves.

The quality standards manual, derived from internationally recognised guidelines, was co-authored by the Kerala Health Department, the National Rural Health Mission, the Kerala Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence International.