Postpartum hemorrhage is a main cause of maternal mortality worldwide, with rising incidence, thus demanding new treatment approaches. Intrauterine balloon systems with application of intrauterine vacuum are a promising new method.
All women treated with vacuum-induced tamponade using a modified balloon system were included in this single-center study. Aiming to reduce uterine size for control of postpartum hemorrhage, the intrauterine balloon was filled to 50–100 mL and connected to a vacuum device. Success rate of vacuum-induced tamponade, defined as no need for additional interventional treatment, was analyzed by etiology of postpartum hemorrhage and time period of use.
Vacuum-induced tamponade was applied in 66 women. Success rate was 86% in women with uterine atony (n=44) and 73% in women with postpartum hemorrhage due to placental pathology (n=22). Success rate improved over the study period, culminating in a success rate of 100% in women with postpartum hemorrhage due to uterine atony in the second half of the observation period (n=22).
This observational study supports our pathophysiologic understanding of uterine atony: to treat an atonic uterus, uterine volume must be reduced, leading to coiling of the uterine spiral arteries and, hence, reduced blood loss.