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Prophylactic management of postpartum haemorrhage in the third stage of labour: an overview of systematic reviews



Prophylactic management of postpartum haemorrhage in the third stage of labour: an overview of systematic reviews



Systematic Reviews 7(1): 156



Postpartum haemorrhage is a direct cause of maternal death worldwide and usually occurs during the third stage of labour. Most women receive some type of prophylactic management, which may include pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions. The objective of this study was to summarize systematic reviews that assessed the effects of postpartum haemorrhage prophylactic management during the third stage of labour. We applied the guidelines for conducting an overview of reviews from the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews to identify all relevant systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials of prophylactic management of postpartum haemorrhage in the third stage of labour compared with no treatment, placebo, or another management technique. Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed methodological quality using a measurement tool to assess reviews and quality of evidence using the Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation for primary outcomes, summarizing results narratively. We identified 29 systematic reviews: 18 Cochrane and 11 non-Cochrane. Cochrane systematic reviews were high quality, while the quality of non-Cochrane systematic reviews varied. The following techniques suggested effective, third-stage interventions to reduce the incidence of severe postpartum haemorrhage: active management of the third stage of labour compared to physiological management, active management compared to expectant management, administration of oxytocin compared to placebo, and use of tranexamic acid compared to placebo. The following third-stage management approaches reduced the need for blood transfusion: active management compared to physiological management, active management compared to expectant management, oral misoprostol compared to placebo, and tranexamic acid compared to placebo. No effective prophylactic management techniques were identified for maternal mortality. Most methods of effective prophylactic management of postpartum haemorrhage were supported by evidence; however, they were limited to low- or moderate-quality evidence, and high-quality studies are therefore needed. Outcome measures of the included systematic reviews varied. It is recommended that outcome measures in preventive postpartum haemorrhage intervention trials align with the World Health Organization guidelines. PROSPERO: CRD42016049220 .

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Accession: 065891558

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PMID: 30305154

DOI: 10.1186/s13643-018-0817-3


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