September 15, 2014

New drug target could prevent major global cause of maternal death

Researchers at the University of Warwick have discovered a new target for drugs that could prevent the deaths of thousands of women in the developing world due to heavy blood loss after childbirth.

Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) occurs when the uterus fails to contract vigorously after childbirth and the mother loses 500mls or more of blood in the 24 hours after delivery. PPH is responsible for maternal death in 1 in 1,000 deliveries in the developing world. According to recent figures, PPH also complicates around 10% of all births in England and Wales.