Jill Durocher

Calibrated Delivery Drape versus Indirect Gravimetric Technique for the Measurement of Blood Loss after Delivery: A Randomized Trial

August 15th, 2014
Postpartum Hemorrhage
Ambardekar, S., Shochet, T., Bracken, H., Coyaji, K., Winikoff, B.

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth; 2014 Aug 15; 14:276; doi:10.1186/1471-2393-14-276

Background: Trials of interventions for PPH prevention and treatment rely on different measurement methods for the quantification of blood loss and identification of PPH. This study's objective was to compare measures of blood loss obtained from two different measurement protocols frequently used in studies.

Methods: Nine hundred women presenting for vaginal delivery were randomized to a direct method (a calibrated delivery drape) or an indirect method (a shallow bedpan placed below the buttocks and weighing the collected blood and blood-soaked gauze/pads). Blood loss was measured from immediately after delivery for at least one hour or until active bleeding stopped.

Results: Significantly greater mean blood loss was recorded by the direct than by the indirect measurement technique (253.9 mL and 195.3 mL, respectively; difference = 58.6 mL (95% CI: 31-86); p < 0.001). Almost twice as many women in the direct than in the indirect group measured blood loss > 500 mL (8.7% vs. 4.7%, p = 0.02).

Conclusions: The study suggests a real and significant difference in blood loss measurement between these methods. Research using blood loss measurement as an endpoint needs to be interpreted taking measurement technique into consideration.