Use of Condom to Control Excessive Bleeding in Mothers Following Childbirth

Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) or excessive bleeding after delivery is the leading cause of maternal mortality resulting to over 100,000 deaths per year globally. In developing countries, 1.2% of births result in PPH and 3% of women who get it end up losing their lives. Postpartum Haemorrhage is defined as the loss of more than a half litre of blood in the 24 hours following childbirth. Poor contraction of the uterus following delivery is the most common cause of PPH. Other common causes are poor blood clotting, a tear or laceration in the uterus and failing to deliver all the placenta.

KMET in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Harvard Medical School and Izumi Foundation, USA is running an innovative way of empowering healthcare providers in all 47 counties in Kenya  and regionally in Africa with skills on management of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) using the Uterine Balloon Tamponade (UBT). UBT consists of a water-filled balloon inserted into the new mother’s uterine cavity to apply pressure on the walls of her uterus and stop excessive bleeding. The method is highly effective,simple and affordable.

A complete kit of the UBT consists of 2 condoms, 2 cotton strings, 1 Foley catheter, a 60ml syringe, a data card and a referral card.

After a condom is tied to a Foley catheter, it’s inflated with clean water through a syringe and one-way valve. The condom water balloon sits in the uterus applying pressure on the walls and this has been shown to stop the bleeding.

The device was introduced into the country in 2012 by MGH in partnership with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, PATH and a number of other groups.

Over the course of 11 months, the group dispensed 26 balloons to women who were either unconscious or in an altered mental states due to severe PPH. In every case, the bleeding was controlled and none of the women died or became disabled.

The following year, MGH was awarded a $2 million USAID grant to deploy the uterine balloon to 300 facilities in Kenya and 50 facilities in Sierra Leone over the next four years.

The device is expected to be able to save 169,000 women between 2015 and 2030, according NPR’s Goats and Soda.

 

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