In the United States, postpartum hemorrhage is a leading preventable cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. To reduce morbidity from postpartum hemorrhage, risk assessment is an important starting point for informing decisions about risk management and hemorrhage prevention. Current perinatal care guidelines from the Joint Commission recommend that all patients undergo postpartum hemorrhage risk assessment at admission and after delivery. Three maternal health organizations—the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, AWHONN, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ Safe Motherhood Initiative—have developed postpartum hemorrhage risk-assessment tools for clinical use. Based on the presence of risk factors, each organization categorizes patients as low-, medium-, or high-risk, and ties pretransfusion testing recommendations to these categorizations. However, the accuracy of these tools’ risk categorizations has come under increasing scrutiny. Given their low positive predictive value, the value proposition of pretransfusion testing in all patients classified as medium- and high-risk is low. Further, 40% of all postpartum hemorrhage events occur in low-risk patients, emphasizing the need for early vigilance and treatment regardless of categorization. We recommend that maternal health organizations consider alternatives to category-based risk tools for evaluating postpartum hemorrhage risk before delivery.
Reference: doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004579