BACKGROUND: Postpartum hemorrhage is one of the rare occasions when a general or acute care surgeon may be emergently called to labor and delivery, a situation in which time is limited and the stakes high. Unfortunately, there is generally a paucity of exposure and information available to surgeons regarding this topic: obstetric training is rarely found in contemporary surgical residency curricula and is omitted nearly completely from general and acute care surgery literature and continuing medical education.
METHODS: The purpose of this manuscript is to serve as a topic specific review for surgeons and to present a surgeon oriented management algorithm. Medline and Ovid databases were utilized in a comprehensive literature review regarding the management of postpartum hemorrhage and a management algorithm for surgeons developed based upon a collaborative panel of general, acute care, trauma and obstetrical surgeons' review of the literature and expert opinion.
RESULTS: A stepwise approach for surgeons of the medical and surgical interventions utilized to manage and treat postpartum hemorrhage is presented and organized into a basic algorithm.
CONCLUSION: The manuscript should promote and facilitate a more educated, systematic and effective surgeon response and participation in the management of postpartum hemorrhage.