Misoprostol for primary versus secondary prevention of postpartum haemorrhage: a cluster‐randomised non‐inferiority community trial
- September 1st, 2015
- Raghavan, S., Geller, S., Miller, S., Goudar, S.S., Anger, H., Yadavannavar, M.C., Dabash, R., Bidri, S.R., Gudadinni, M.R., Udgiri, R., Koch, A.R., Bellad, M.B., Winikoff, B.
BJOG; 2016 Jan; 123(1):120-7; doi:10.1111/1471-0528.13540
Objective: To assess whether secondary prevention, which preemptively treats women with above-average postpartum bleeding, is non-inferior to universal prophylaxis.
Design: A cluster-randomised non-inferiority community trial.
Setting: Health sub-centres and home deliveries in the Bijapur district of Karnataka, India.
Population: Women with low-risk pregnancies who were eligible for delivery with an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife at home or sub-centre and who consented to be part of the study.
Methods: Auxiliary Nurse Midwifes were randomised to secondary prevention using 800 mcg sublingual misoprostol administered to women with postpartum blood loss ≥350 ml or to universal prophylaxis using 600 mcg oral misoprostol administered to all women during the third stage of labour.
Main outcome measures: Postpartum haemoglobin ≤7.8 g/dl, mean postpartum blood loss and postpartum haemoglobin, postpartum haemorrhage rate, transfer to higher-level facilities, acceptability and feasibility of the intervention.
Results: Misoprostol was administered to 99.7% of women as primary prevention. In secondary prevention, 92 (4.7%) women had postpartum bleeding ≥350 ml, of which 90 (97.8%) received misoprostol. The proportion of women with postpartum haemoglobin ≤7.8 g/dl was 5.9 and 8.8% in secondary and primary prevention clusters, respectively [difference −2.9%, one-sided 95% confidence interval (CI) <1.3%]. Postpartum transfer and haemorrhage rates were low (<1%) in both groups. Shivering was more common in primary prevention clusters (P = 0.013).
Conclusion: Secondary prevention of postpartum haemorrhage with misoprostol is non-inferior to universal prophylaxis based on the primary outcome of postpartum haemoglobin. Secondary prevention could be a good alternative to universal prophylaxis as it medicates fewer women and is an acceptable and feasible strategy at the community level.
Tweetable abstract: Secondary prevention of postpartum haemorrhage with misoprostol is non-inferior to universal prophylaxis.