Postpartum Hemorrhaging (PPH)

Approximately 95% of all births take place without any significant hemorrhaging.  However, postpartum hemorrhaging, or excessive bleeding after birth, can happen.  Typically postpartum hemorrhaging is not the result of medical malpractice; however, where a doctor, nurse or hospital fails to react appropriately to the bleeding, they may depart from the standard of care.

Postpartum hemorrhaging is defined as the loss of more than 500 mL of blood in the postpartum period (i.e., the 24 hours afgter birth).  Hemorrhaging more than 24 hours after birth is known as a secondary hemorrhage.  On average, a vaginal delivery will be associated with less than 500 mL of blood loss.  A cesarean section (c-section) delivery will be associated with 800-1000 mL of blood loss.  In most cases, excessive bleeding is due to uterine atony, which means that the uterus is not contracting enough to control or stop blood loss.  However, other causes of bleeding include cervical lacerations, uterine inversion, uterine rupture and clotting disorders.

There are several risk factors for postpartum hemorrhaging, including:
  • macrosomia (large baby);
  • multiple gestation (twins, triplets);
  • prolonged labor;
  • placenta previa;
  • labor augmented with Pitocin;
  • multiparity (more than one pregnancy); and
  • general anesthesia.
Often times, postpartum hemorrhaging is controlled by:
  • uterine massage;
  • the Trendelenburg position;
  • oxygen;
  • medication (e.g., methergine, hemabate); and
  • surgery (e.g., ligation of uterine or hypogastric artery; hysterectomy).
The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases.  If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at