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June 21, 1952


Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York University Medical College.

JAMA. 1952;149(8):757-758. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.72930250001013

Hemorrhage is one of the most frequent causes of postpartum death. Statistics being reliable only from larger hospitals, we may assume that many postpartum deaths are either unreported or designated otherwise. In a report from the Mayo Clinic,1 the incidence of death from hemorrhage is 0.491 per 1,000 births, an average of 1 case per 2,000 deliveries. Postpartum hemorrhage in a large Brooklyn hospital caused death in 34 of 37 cases of obstetric fatality. It can only be conjectured how many more occur in institutions with lower standards.

There are standard methods of treating postpartum hemorrhage. It must be assumed from the poor results reported that they are not always successful. The usual routine procedure is to endeavor to find out whether the uterus is empty or to establish other causes for the bleeding. By the time the examination is completed, the hemorrhage may become alarming. Posterior pituitary (pituitrin®)