Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH) is commonly defined as a blood loss of 500 ml or
more within 24 hours after birth. PPH is the leading cause of maternal mortality
in low-income countries and the primary cause of nearly one quarter of all maternal
deaths globally. Most deaths resulting from PPH occur during the first 24 hours
after birth: the majority of these could be avoided through the use of prophylactic
uterotonics during the third stage of labour and by timely and appropriate patient
Improving health care for women during childbirth in order to prevent and treat PPH
is an essential step towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The primary objective of this guideline therefore is to provide a foundation for the
strategic policy and programme development needed to ensure the sustainable
implementation of effective interventions for reducing the global burden of PPH.