Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor: A Simple Practice to Prevent Postpartum Hemorrhage
This brief discusses the following points:
- Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading direct cause of maternal death in developing countries.
- Most cases of PPH occur within 24 hours after delivery.
- About 70 percent of cases of PPH are due to uterine atony, which can be prevented with Active Management of the Third Stage of Labor (AMTSL).
- Any woman can face life-threatening blood loss at the time of delivery; women with anemia are particularly vulnerable since they may not tolerate even moderate blood loss.
- AMTSL reduces the incidence of PPH, quantity of blood loss, need for blood transfusion, and need for medical intervention to stop bleeding.