Lowering Maternal Mortality Rates After C-Section by Embolisation

by Tanya Thomas on Aug 6 2008 9:41 AM

New studies have recommended that the incidence of maternal deaths following a cesarean delivery could be reduced by a new medical procedure- thromboembolism prophylaxis.

  Thromboembolism is a general term describing both thrombosis and its main complication, which is embolisation

Thrombosis is the formation of a clot or thrombus within the lumen of a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system.

In embolisation, if a bacterial infection is present at the site of thrombosis, the thrombus may break down, spreading particles of infected material throughout the circulatory system.

The study suggests that universal use of thromboembolism prevention treatment can significantly reduce death risk following caesarean delivery. 

The study identified 95 maternal deaths among 1,461,270 births due to complications of preeclampsia, amniotic fluid embolism, obstetric hemorrhage, cardiac disease, and pulmonary thromboembolism.

During the analysis, 9 patients died from pulmonary thromboembolism, 7 after cesarean delivery and 2 after vaginal birth. 

"In nearly every population of adult surgical patients, either medical or mechanical thromboprophylaxis reduces venous thromboembolism by approximately 70%..." said Steven L. Clark, MD, Medical Director of the Women and Newborns Clinical Program, Hospital Corporation of America.

"If one assumes similar efficacy in pregnant women, 5 of the 7 deaths from pulmonary embolism in women undergoing cesarean delivery would have been prevented if a policy of universal use of medical or mechanical thromboprophylaxis for patients undergoing cesarean had been in place," he added. 

The study is published in the July 2008 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.