Tranexamic Acid for Prevention and Treatment of Postpartum Hemorrhage: An Update on Management and Clinical Outcomes

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Abstract

Importance

Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) remains a major cause of maternal mortality worldwide, occurring in both vaginal and cesarean deliveries. We have witnessed improvements in both prevention and treatment of PPH. Tranexamic acid (TXA) has been investigated as a potential adjunct therapy to uterotonics within this setting.

Objective

The aim of this article is to summarize existing recommendations on the use of TXA in obstetrics and review current data on clinical outcomes after TXA use.

Evidence Acquisition

We reviewed guidelines from a number of professional societies and performed an extensive literature search reviewing relevant and current data in this area.

Results and Conclusions

In the prevention of PPH, TXA use before both vaginal and cesarean deliveries reduces the amount of postpartum blood loss and should be considered in patients at higher risk for hemorrhage. In the treatment of PPH, TXA should be initiated early for maximal survival benefit from hemorrhage, and it provides no additional benefit if administered more than 3 hours from delivery. Overall, current evidence assessing the risks of TXA use in an obstetric population is reassuring.

Target Audience

Obstetricians and gynecologists, family physicians.

Learning Objectives

After completing this activity, the learner should be better able to: define the mechanism of action of TXA; evaluate the utility of TXA in prophylaxis and treatment of PPH; define common doses of TXA used in the peripartum period; and assess associated risk and possible adverse outcome when using TXA.

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