• Atony of the uterus
  • Retained placental parts
  • Uterine rupture
  • Cervical and/or vaginal tears


  • Resuscitate with fluids
  • Massage the uterus manually
  • Apply firm and continuous pressure suprapubically with a closed fist for a full 10 minutes
    • Eyes on the watch!
  • Oxytocin infusion i.v. (preferred)
    • 30 units in 500 cc in Normal Saline
    • Infused over 2 to 4 hours
  • Misostoprol (Cytotec) tablets (if oxytocin is not available)
    • 2 – 4 tablets
      • Oral or rectal adminstration

Bleeding does not subside:

  • Bring patient to operating theater
  • Place legs in stirrups
  • Examine by intracavitary palpation
    • Placental parts present:
      • Remove
    • Uterine rupture present:
      • Laparotomy and repair
    • Neither retained placenta nor rupture of the uterus is present:
      • Pack firmly with gauze
      • Remove gauze pack in the operating theater after 24 hours
  • Transfuse one or two units of fresh blood

  • Perform hysterectomy as a last resort

Speculum Examination:

  • It is usually difficult and messy to identify bleeding site(s) from cervical tears
  • Attempts to suture the friable tissue results in further tearing and bleeding
  • Proceed directly with gauze packing in the absence of retained placental parts or ruptured uterus.