A relatively cheap and easy to use drug could save the lives of thousands of women in the developing world, according to a study in this week's BMJ.
Postpartum haemorrhage (excessive blood loss after childbirth) is the leading cause of maternal death in Africa. Several drugs reduce blood loss, but in poor areas they are often inaccessible, too expensive, and too difficult to use.
The study took place in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, where maternal death is more than 8 per 1000 live births. Immediately after delivery, 330 women received misoprostol tablets and 331 received placebo (dummy pills).
Significantly fewer women in the misoprostol group experienced severe blood loss.
In rural Guinea-Bissau, 75% of women give birth at home, and worldwide only about 50% of women give birth in health facilities. So strategies are needed to increase the safety of deliveries attended by unskilled birth attendants, say the authors.
"Our trial suggests that misoprostol would play an important part in such a strategy to reduce complications of delivery and maternal mortality," they conclude.
Page: 1 Related medicine news :1
Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal
. Mouse model points to possible new strategy for treating rare muscle disease, kidney disorders2
. Study finds wake up and breathe strategy allows patients to come off ventilator sooner3
. New strategy improves outcome for children with most common type of brain tumor4
. Researchers find new learning strategy5
. New strategy could increase number of kidney transplant matches6
. Enzyme inhibitor may provide strategy to treat some GI disorders, Jefferson researchers find7
. New strategy more sensitive at detecting cervical cancer than smear test8
. ESF sets out research strategy to push rheumatic diseases up the health agenda9
. New understanding of Ewings sarcoma suggests novel treatment strategy10
. Researchers resolve how COX inhibitors cause heart hazards, and offer alternative treatment strategy11
. Feds infectious diseases strategy must be broader than biodefense, say ID physicians