Purpose: To discuss the role of nurses and nurse-midwives in preventing and treating postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) from uterine atony in developing countries and examine the role of a new device, the Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment (NASG), in improving the outcomes for these patients.
Study Design and Methods: In this subanalysis of a larger preintervention phase/intervention phase study of 1,442 women with obstetric hemorrhage, postpartum women with hypovolemic shock (N = 578) from uterine atony (≥750 mL blood loss; systolic blood pressure <100 mmHg and/or pulse >100 beats per minute) were enrolled in two referral facilities in Egypt and four referral facilities in Nigeria. The study had two temporal phases: a preintervention phase and an NASG-intervention phase. Women with hemorrhage and shock in both phases were treated with the same evidence-based protocols for management of hypovolemic shock and hemorrhage, but women in the NASG-intervention phase also received the NASG. Relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for primary outcomes—measured blood loss, incidence of emergency hysterectomy, and mortality.
Results: Women in the NASG-intervention phase had significantly better outcomes, 50% lower blood loss, reduced rates of hysterectomy (8.9% vs. 4%), and mortality decreased from 8.5% to 2.3% (RR = 0.27, 95% CI: 0.12–0.60).
Clinical Implications: In low-resource settings nurses have few resources with which to stabilize women with severe PPH. With training nurses and nurse-midwives can stabilize hemorrhaging women with the NASG, a low-technology first-aid device that shows promise for reducing blood loss, rates of hysterectomy, and mortality.