Postpartum hemorrhage is among the most common causes of maternal morbidity and mortality. Postpartum hemorrhage is defined as a blood loss of greater than 500 mL or any amount that, if not replaced, could cause shock or death in the mother. The most common cause of postpartum hemorrhage is uterine atony. This occurs when the normal myometrium fails to contract after delivery of the placenta. The initial treatment involves the administration of intravenous oxytocin and uterine massage. If the initial maneuvers fail to stop the postpartum hemorrhage, other techniques, such as uterine packing, suture techniques, uterine or hypogastric artery ligation, can be considered. In the last 30 years, a new angiographic approach for treatment of postpartum hemorrhage has emerged. Pelvic arterial embolization, after emerging as a treatment option to control and prevent pregnancy-related hemorrhage, has been established to be safe and effective. The goal of treatment for all causes of postpartum hemorrhage is cessation of bleeding in a timely fashion, before the onset of consumptive coagulopathy and end organ damage.
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