Women following vaginal birth, birth partners, midwives and obstetricians in two centres in the UK (n= 51).
Simulation of ‘slow blood loss followed by fast blood loss’ (n= 10).
Simulation of ‘fast blood loss followed by slow blood loss’ (n= 11).
This mixed methods study had a qualitative phase involving focus groups and interviews, and a quantitative phase consisting in a randomised crossover study. Responses to blood loss were described as automatic, intuitive reactions to the speed, nature and visibility of blood flow. Health professionals reported that quantifying volume was most useful after a postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) diagnosis, to validate intuitive decisions and guide on-going management. During simulations, PPH treatment was initiated at volumes at or below 200ml (fast mean blood loss 79.6ml, SD 41.1; slow mean blood loss 62.6ml, SD 27.7). All participants treated fast, visible blood loss, but only half treated slow blood loss, despite there being no difference in volumes (difference 18.2ml).