Am J Perinatol 2007; 24(6): 359-364
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-984402
Copyright © by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Intrauterine Balloon Tamponade in the Management of Postpartum Hemorrhage

Victor Dabelea1 , Peter M. Schultze1 , 2 , Robert S. McDuffie1 , 3  Jr. 
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital, Denver, Colorado
  • 2Kaiser Permanente, Aurora, Colorado
  • 3Kaiser Permanente, Denver, Colorado
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
13 June 2007 (online)


This article reviews our experience with the use of intrauterine tamponade with balloon catheters in the management of severe postpartum hemorrhage. This is a case series report of 23 patients with postpartum hemorrhage unresponsive to medical therapy managed with intrauterine balloon tamponade. We identified these patients by International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) codes and by reviewing labor and delivery logs. Balloon tamponade was attempted in 23 patients. When properly placed, catheters controlled postpartum hemorrhage in 18 of 20 cases (90%). In two cases, hysterectomy was required despite successful placement of the catheter. For hemorrhage due to uterine atony, our success rate was 100% (11/11 cases). In three cases, technical difficulties led to placement failure. For bleeding due to retained placenta, our success rate was 80% (4/5; failure with placenta percreta). Vaginal bleeding was stopped with the catheter in two of three cases of amniotic fluid embolus and in one case after dilation and curettage for postpartum septic shock. Thus balloon tamponade is an effective adjunct in the treatment of severe postpartum hemorrhage, especially when due to uterine atony when medical therapy fails.


Victor Dabelea, M.D. 

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital

2005 Franklin Street, Midtown 1, Suite 750, Denver, CO 80205