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Delivery Complicated by Postpartum Hemorrhage and Lower Extremity Compartment Syndrome

Byers, Benjamin D. DO1; Silva, Phaelon H. MD1; Kost, Edward R. MD1

doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000222360.81498.67
Case Reports

BACKGROUND: Extremity compartment syndrome is a rare surgical complication in which increased intracompartmental pressure threatens the viability of the muscular and nervous tissue. We report a case of a delivery complicated by postpartum hemorrhage and a lower extremity compartment syndrome.

CASE: A multigravida in her late 20s was admitted for induction of labor at 41 weeks of gestation. She underwent a cesarean delivery for a nonreassuring fetal heart rate tracing. The delivery was complicated by severe postpartum hemorrhage due to uterine atony, resulting in a cesarean hysterectomy. The patient developed a lower extremity compartment syndrome and underwent an emergent anterior tibial fasciotomy.

CONCLUSION: Extremity compartment syndrome is rarely encountered in obstetric care; however, there may be an association with severe postpartum hemorrhage.

Severe postpartum hemorrhage may be associated with lower extremity compartment syndrome.

From the 1San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall United States Air Force Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.

Corresponding author: Benjamin D. Byers, DO, 755 Gotham Street, Watertown, NY 13601; e-mail:

© 2007 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists