The WOMAN trial: clinical and contextual factors surrounding the deaths of 483 women following post-partum haemorrhage in developing countries
Picetti R, Miller L, Shakur-Still H, Pepple T, Beaumont D, Balogun E, Asonganyi E, Chaudhri R, El-Sheikh M, Vwalika B, et al
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2020;20(1):409
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BACKGROUND Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal death worldwide. The WOMAN trial assessed the effects of tranexamic acid (TXA) on death and surgical morbidity in women with PPH. The trial recorded 483 maternal deaths. We report the circumstances of the women who died. METHODS The WOMAN trial recruited 20,060 women with a clinical diagnosis of PPH after a vaginal birth or caesarean section. We randomly allocated women to receive TXA or placebo. When a woman died, we asked participating clinicians to report the cause of death and to provide a short narrative of the events surrounding the death. We collated and edited for clarity the narrative data. RESULTS Case fatality rates were 3.0% in Africa and 1.7% in Asia. Nearly three quarters of deaths were within 3 h of delivery and 91% of these deaths were from bleeding. Women who delivered outside a participating hospital (12%) were three times more likely to die (OR = 3.12, 95%CI 2.55-3.81) than those who delivered in hospital. Blood was often unavailable due to shortages or because relatives could not afford to buy it. Clinicians highlighted late presentation, maternal anaemia and poor infrastructure as key contributory factors. CONCLUSIONS Although TXA use reduces bleeding deaths by almost one third, mortality rates similar to those in high income countries will not be achieved without tackling late presentation, maternal anaemia, availability of blood for transfusion and poor infrastructure.
Effect of tranexamic acid on coagulation and fibrinolysis in women with postpartum haemorrhage (WOMAN-ETAC): a single-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Women with postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) in 193 centres in 21 countries enrolled in the international WOMAN trial (n= 20,060).
Intravenous injection of 1 g of tranexamic acid (n= 10,051).
Matching placebo (n= 10,009).
There were 483 maternal deaths in developing countries. Case fatality rates were 3.0% in Africa and 1.7% in Asia. Nearly three quarters of deaths were within 3 hours of delivery and 91% of these deaths were from bleeding. Women who delivered outside a participating hospital (12%) were three times more likely to die than those who delivered in hospital. Key contributory factors highlighted by clinicians were: late presentation, maternal anaemia and poor infrastructure.
Shakur-Still H, Roberts I, Fawole B, Kuti M, Olayemi OO, Bello A, Huque S, Ogunbode O, Kotila T, Aimakhu C, et al
Wellcome Open Research. 2018;3:100.
Background: Postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a leading cause of maternal death. The WOMAN trial showed that tranexamic acid (TXA) reduces death due to bleeding in women with PPH. We evaluated the effect of TXA on fibrinolysis and coagulation in a sample of WOMAN trial participants. Methods: Adult women with a clinical diagnosis of PPH were randomised to receive 1 g TXA or matching placebo in the WOMAN trial. Participants in the WOMAN trial at University College Hospital (Ibadan, Nigeria) also had venous blood taken just before administration of the first dose of trial treatment and again 30 (+/-15) min after the first dose (the ETAC study). We aimed to determine the effects of TXA on fibrinolysis (D-dimer and rotational thromboelastometry maximum clot lysis (ML)) and coagulation (international normalized ratio and clot amplitude at 5 min). We compared outcomes in women receiving TXA and placebo using linear regression, adjusting for baseline measurements. Results: Women (n=167) were randomised to receive TXA (n=83) or matching placebo (n=84). Due to missing data, seven women were excluded from analysis. The mean (SD) D-dimer concentration was 7.1 (7.0) mg/l in TXA-treated women and 9.6 (8.6) mg/l in placebo-treated women (p=0.09). After adjusting for baseline, the D-dimer concentration was 2.16 mg/l lower in TXA-treated women (-2.16, 95% CI -4.31 to 0.00, p=0.05). There was no significant difference in ML between TXA- and placebo-treated women (12.3% (18.4) and 10.7% (12.6), respectively; p=0.52) and no significant difference after adjusting for baseline ML (1.02, 95% CI -3.72 to 5.77, p=0.67). There were no significant effects of TXA on any other parameters. Conclusion: TXA treatment was associated with reduced D-dimer levels but had no apparent effects on thromboelastometry parameters or coagulation tests. Registration: ISRCTN76912190 (initially registered 10/12/2008, WOMAN-ETAC included on 22/03/2012) and NCT00872469 (initially registered 31/03/2009, WOMAN-ETAC included on 22/03/2012).