Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a potentially life-threatening condition. Women undergoing caesarean section (CS) are at particular risk, and improvements in the management of PPH during CS are required. We investigated the use of a tissue hardness metre to quantify uterine contractions during CS with a view to its application for obstetric bleeding management. Fifty pregnant women at term who underwent elective CS were recruited. Using a tissue hardness metre, we measured uterine hardness twice during CS: after placental removal and before peritoneum closure. Each measurement was conducted at two standardised points: fundus and corpus uteri. Concurrently, obstetricians subjectively graded uterine contractions as weak, medium, or strong. The hardness metre accurately quantified the degree of uterine contraction assessed by the obstetricians, and could be an effective clinical tool for early recognition of intra-operative massive bleeding.IMPACT STATEMENT What is already known on this subject? Maintaining adequate uterine contraction leads to prevention of excessive blood loss, which decreases the incidence and severity of PPH. However, the assessment of uterine contraction is currently judged by obstetricians, who manually and subjectively evaluate uterine contraction according to uterine hardness. Therefore, uterine atony remains a clinical diagnosis without a universal definition. What do the results of this study add? The present study investigated the use of a tissue hardness metre to quantify uterine contractions during CS with a view to its application for obstetric bleeding management. The hardness metre was able to quantify the degree of uterine contraction perceived by obstetricians. Quantifying uterine hardness during CS correlates with the amount of intra-operative bleeding and is useful for early recognition of massive haemorrhage. What are the implications of these findings for clinical practice and/or further research? To improve the management of atonic PPH and avoid serious complications, the tissue hardness metre should be considered as a potential clinical tool during CS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology