Postpartum hemorrhage is the major killer of women in the developing world (one woman every four minutes dies this way). One of the key issues is the speed with which an anemic woman can lose her life if she is not provided life-saving care. Often women are lost in transit to a facility that could have provided the care.But what if you could ‘buy time’—stabilizing the woman until she reaches a higher level facility. This is the idea behind the NASG, a device that is a potential game changer for women’s survival.The NASG, also called the non-pneumatic anti-shock garment, is a medical device that externally wraps around a woman experiencing hemorrhage and ‘buys her time’--time to get to a higher level health facility with life-saving drugs and blood transfusion.Two key clinical studies of the LifeWrap device came out in late 2009—one from Nigeria and one from Egypt.Though much more could be written (and will be), to sum up, maternal mortality and morbidity was lower with the use of the NASG. The authors report that in both studies “the measuredblood loss was significantly lower for women treated with the NASG: 78% lower in Nigeria and 50% lower in Egypt.”The study also found that uterine atony (failure of the uterus to contract)—and a major cause of postpartum hemorrhage—was the cause of hemorrhage in only 30% of the cases studied. The more that is understood about the reasons for postpartum hemorrhage the better.
Now as a next step, we ask what could be done to lower the costs of the implementation of the E-MOTIVE bundle? The most obvious answer is to consider displacing the tens of thousands of disposable plastic drapes with a purpose-built reusable device.
Fortunately one of the obstetricians involved in the E-MOTIVE study, Dr. Justus Hofmeyr, had been innovating around this very issue, designing a tray with wells that could fit under a woman’s buttocks, collect and accurately measure the. blood. This tray, theMaternaWellTraywas conceived as a device that could be sterilized and reused, and is manufactured in South Africa by Umoya.
The Pumani bubbleCPAP was designed to meet this need for Malawi and is now widely available through Maternova. We had a few questions about post-research phases of the Pumani bubbleCPAP which we posed to Jocelyn Brown, inventor of the Pumani bubbleCPAP, and Molly McCabe, Director of Product Management.