Blood Transfusion - 6 2018 (November-December)

Cell salvage for postpartum haemorrhage during vaginal delivery: a case series
Authors:  Grace Lim, Eleni Kotsis, Jamie M. Zorn, Patricia L. Dalby, Catherine J. Ralph, Jonathan H. Waters
Pages:  498-501
To cite this article:  Blood Transfus 2018; 16: 498-501
Doi:  10.2450/2017.0155-17
Published online:  29/09/2017


The safety and effectiveness of cell salvage for vaginal delivery is unknown. This case series aimed to assess the utility and adverse events related to the use of cell salvage for maternal haemorrhage during vaginal delivery. 
Materials and methods. A cohort study design was chosen, focused on postpartum haemorrhages that occurred after vaginal delivery for which cell salvage equipment was requested to be set up in the labour and delivery room outside of a sterile operating room environment. Variables recorded included duration of stay in hospital, occurrence of wound infections, sepsis, thromboembolic events, and amniotic fluid embolism.
Results. Of 28 cases of postpartum haemorrhage during vaginal deliveries involving the setup or use of cell salvage equipment, ten were associated with successful re-infusion of salvaged shed blood. These ten cases were compared to the 18 cases in which cell salvage equipment was set up, but insufficient shed blood was salvaged for re-infusion. There were no instances of postpartum sepsis, wound infection, or thromboembolism associated with the use of cell salvage for vaginal delivery. Although one case of suspected amniotic fluid embolism occurred, severe symptoms began prior to the infusion of salvaged blood. 
Discussion. Infusion of salvaged shed blood collected from a vaginal delivery field is feasible. The outcomes of these cases do not exclude an unacceptably high risk of infection or embolic events. Trials evaluating the safety and effectiveness associated with the use of cell salvage in vaginal deliveries are justified. 

Keywords: cell salvage, vaginal delivery, obstetrics, postpartum haemorrhage, haemorrhage. 
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