Postpartum hemorrhage protocols and benchmarks: improving care through standardization

Jerome J. Federspiel, Ahizechukwu C. Eke, Catherine S. Eppes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Postpartum hemorrhage remains a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States. Several state maternal morbidity and mortality committees have reviewed areas of opportunity concerning postpartum hemorrhage management and found that common patterns include delays in recognition and response to hemorrhage. Hospital systems and state perinatal quality collaboratives have found that comprehensive, interdisciplinary response to postpartum hemorrhage care improves patient outcomes and, in some instances, reduces racial disparities. A key component of this focus involves the implementation of stage-based hemorrhage protocols for postpartum hemorrhage management. Stage-based hemorrhage protocols are designed to reduce delays in the diagnosis and management and avoid the pitfalls of cognitive biases. These protocols are complex, and their effectiveness is tied to the quality of their implementation. Systematic benchmarking and development of quality metrics for adherence to postpartum hemorrhage bundles would be expected to improve clinical outcomes, but evidence regarding the effectiveness of this practice in the literature is limited. Here, key features of stage-based interventions and evidence regarding the use of quality metrics for postpartum hemorrhage protocol adherence have been outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100740
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics & gynecology MFM
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • maternal death
  • obstetrical labor complications
  • postpartum hemorrhage
  • pregnancy
  • quality improvement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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