Postpartum Hemorrhage: How a Metro hospital is working to keep moms safe

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FREMONT, Neb. One every four minutes. That's how many women will die from
postpartum hemorrhage and that is worldwide. In this month's Health Check we have a look at what Fremont Health is doing to prevent the problem.

It's the end every expectant mother hopes for: "Everything went well."

That's how Darci King remembers the delivery of her baby boy, Blake.

"We were happy and content and then it kind of changed really quickly," King recalled.

Two hours after delivery, Blake was fine. But mom was not.

"I'm having a little more bleeding than I have been the last couple of hours. I'm like, 'I don't feel like this is right,'" King said.

Darci King was on to something. She was losing too much blood.

"If a mom starts to lose too much blood they can drop their blood pressure, they can start to become dizzy and feel faint and like they're going to pass out," said Fremont Health's Dr. Nicole Dix.

Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of death for women who were pregnant. That's why it's a priority at Fremont Health.

When moms check-in to Labor and Delivery, they go through a
postpartum hemorrhage risk assessment. During delivery, nurses keep track of how much blood is lost.

"It used to be that was something we kind of looked at and estimated, and now we're trying to be a little more quantitative about that. We're actually measuring blood loss and weighing gauze and pads and things that we are using during delivery," Dr. Dix explained.

It's not unusual for a mother to lose up to 500 milliliters of blood during delivery but Darci lost 1,200. As a nurse, she knew it was serious.

"I have seen it and worked with it and the outcomes aren't always good," said Dix. "I could have died and I know that."

Darci was given medication to stop the bleeding, then a blood transfusion.

"If the nurses weren't in there paying attention it could have been really bad."

For her little baby Blake, Darci is just thankful it wasn't.

Darci was considered at risk because she had postpartum hemorrhage with her last delivery. But there are other factors that increase a mother's risk like: a long labor, having more than one child or if they are given medication during the labor process.