Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a common complication of birth. In 2019, 4.3% of births in the United States were complicated by at least one episode of PPH.1 Major causes of PPH include uterine atony, retained products of conception, reproductive tract trauma, and coagulopathy.2 Active management of the third stage of labor with the routine administration of postpartum uterotonics reduces the risk of PPH.3,4
PPH treatment requires a systematic approach using appropriate uterotonic medications, tranexamic acid, and procedures performed in a timely sequence to resolve the hemorrhage. Following vaginal birth, procedures that do not require a laparotomy to treat PPH include uterine massage, uterine evacuation to remove retained placental tissue, repair of lacerations, uterine balloon tamponade (UBT), uterine packing, a vacuum-induced hemorrhage control device (VHCD; JADA, Organon), and uterine artery embolization. Following cesarean birth, with an open laparotomy incision, interventions to treat PPH due to atony include vascular ligation, uterine compression sutures, UBT, VHCD, hysterectomy, and pelvic packing.2
Over the past 2 decades, UBT has been widely used for the treatment of PPH with a success rate in observational studies of approximately 86%.5 The uterine balloon creates pressure against the wall of the uterus permitting accumulation of platelets at bleeding sites, enhancing the activity of the clotting system. The uterine balloon provides direct pressure on the bleeding site(s). It is well known in trauma care that the first step to treat a bleeding wound is to apply direct pressure to the bleeding site. During the third stage of labor, a natural process is tetanic uterine contraction, which constricts myometrial vessels and the placenta bed. Placing a balloon in the uterus and inflating the balloon to 200 mL to 500 mL may delay the involution of the uterus that should occur following birth. An observation of great interest is the insight that inducing a vacuum in the uterine cavity may enhance tetanic uterine contraction and constriction of the myometrial vessels. Vacuum-induced hemorrhage control is discussed in detail in this editorial.
Vacuum-induced hemorrhage control device
A new device for the treatment of PPH due to uterine atony is the JADA VHCD (FIGURE), which generates negative intrauterine pressure causing the uterus to contract, thereby constricting myometrial vessels and reducing uterine bleeding. The JADA VHCD system is indicated to provide control and treatment of abnormal postpartum uterine bleeding following vaginal or cesarean birth caused by uterine atony when conservative management is indicated.6
The JADA VHCD consists of a leading portion intended to be inserted into the uterine cavity, which consists of a silicone elliptical loop with 20 vacuum pores. A soft shield covers the vacuum loop to reduce the risk of the vacuum pores being clogged with biological material, including blood and clots. The elliptical loop is attached to a catheter intended for connection to a vacuum source set to 80 mm Hg ±10 mm Hg (hospital wall suction or portable suction device) with an in-line cannister to collect blood. Approximately 16 cm from the tip of the elliptical loop is a balloon that should be positioned in the upper vagina, not inside the cervix, and inflated with fluid (60 mL to 120 mL) through a dedicated port to occlude the vagina, thereby preserving a stable intrauterine vacuum.
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