An increase in rates of obstetric haemorrhage in a setting of high HIV seroprevalence
Background. Obstetric haemorrhage (OH) is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, although, indirectly, HIV is also a leading cause of maternal mortality in some settings with a high HIV seroprevalence.
Objective. To determine the possible association between increasing rates of OH and HIV or its treatment.
Methods. We conducted a retrospective chart review of women with OH at King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban, South Africa, over a 3-year period (2009 - 2011), during which the drug regimen for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission was evolving from single-dose nevirapine to antenatal zidovudine combined with intrapartum nevirapine (also referred to as dual therapy), and finally to a combination or highly active antiretroviral therapy (cART or HAART). Cases of OH (including abruptio placentae, placenta praevia, unspecified antepartum haemorrhage (APH), and postpartum haemorrhage (PPH)) were identified from maternity delivery records, and the relevant data extracted.
Results. We analysed the records of 448 women diagnosed with OH. Even though the incidence of OH was low, the study found an increasing number of cases during the 3-year period. PPH – not APH – was associated with HIV seropositivity (odds ratio 1.84, 95% confidence interval 1.14 - 2.95). cART was not associated with an increased risk of haemorrhage.
Conclusion. HIV was associated with a high risk of PPH, and its possible association with HIV treatment needs further research.
E Shabalala, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Hannah M Sebitloane, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
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Date published: 2017-06-30
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