Journal Article

Management of the third stage of labor in an Egyptian teaching hospital

Objectives
The study describes normal labor practices in an Egyptian teaching hospital for the first time, where postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality. Third-stage management patterns are described and compared to evidence-based medicine. Reasons for third-stage practices observed are explored.

Study design
176 normal births were directly observed. Women were interviewed postpartum and study findings were shared with providers.

Results
Third-stage active management was correctly done for 15% of women observed. Most common deviations for the remaining 85% were: giving uterotonic drugs after placental delivery (65%) and without cord traction (49%). Passive management was not done for any observed delivery.

Conclusions
The preventive role actively managing the third stage can provide against postpartum hemorrhage was lost to the majority of the deliveries observed. Obstacles to adopting protocols shown to reduce hemorrhage should be explored, given the contribution of postpartum hemorrhage to maternal deaths in Egypt.