The Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) recommends that cumulative blood loss be objectively measured or quantified for every birth.
Postpartum hemorrhage remains a leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States. Data from the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System indicated that hemorrhage accounted for 10.7% of maternal deaths from 2014 to 2017 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021 ;Peterson et al., 2019). The rate of maternal mortality in the United States remains higher than many other industrialized nations: 17.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births for all maternal mortality causes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021; Peterson et al., 2019). Although maternal deaths from postpartum hemorrhage have decreased, hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion has increased and remains the leading cause of maternal morbidity in the United States (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2017). Health care facilities should be prepared to recognize and treat hemorrhage in the postpartum period.
AWHONN Practice Brief Number 13: Quantification of Blood Loss