Post Partum Hemorrhage

Mamas on Bedrest: LifeWrap May be Life Saving for Mamas all over the World!

January 23rd, 2012

There is a new and potentially lifesaving device available for mamas called LifeWrap.

The LifeWrap (generic name: Non-pneumatic Anti-shock Garment or NASG) is a first-aid device used to stabilize women who are suffering from obstetric hemorrhage and shock.  According to the LifeWrap website,

“The leading cause of maternal mortality (deaths from pregnancy and childbirth related complications) is obstetric hemorrhage in which a woman bleeds heavily, most often immediately after giving birth. A woman somewhere in the world dies every 4 minutes from this kind of complication.”

LifeWrap has been studied extensively by SuEllen Miller, CNM, Ph.D, professor at UCSF and the director of the Safe Motherhood Project at UCSF. As Miller shares with KGO TV in San Francisco,

“If they (women) bleed they’re (often) very far from skilled care. They need something to buy them time so they can get to the kind of facility where they can get a blood transfusion or get surgery and that’s what the anti-shock garment does. It (LifeWrap) buys time.”

The LifeWrap is made of neoprene and VelcroTM and looks like the lower half of a wetsuit cut into segments. The LifeWrap reverses shock by returning blood to the heart, lungs and brain. This restores the woman’s consciousness, pulse and blood pressure. Additionally, the LifeWrap decreases bleeding from the parts of the body compressed under it. Recent research has identified that the pressure applied by the LifeWrap serves to significantly increase the resistive index (i. e. increase the tone and help reduce free flow of blood) of the internal iliac artery (which is responsible for supplying the majority of blood flow to the uterus via the uterine arteries). Best of all, LifeWrap is a very low-tech device and can be applied by anyone after a short, simple training. It is very low cost, approximately $300 per suit, so it can be readily accessible by purchase or donation to countries and practices in need.

According to the Interview with KGO TV in San Francisco,

“The UCSF team is hoping to present results from its current clinical trial to the World Health Organization (WHO). If the LifeWrap is added to the organization’s approved medical device list, it would clear the way for donors to provide it to poorer countries, potentially saving thousands of lives.”

This is truly ground breaking news and research! It will be wonderful to live in a world where all mamas can safely give birth and actually live to see their babies.

An actual LifeWrap being used in Zambia. This image comes from the LifeWrap website.

Resources

The LifeWrap Website

KGO TV News Report with Carolyn Johnson

WikiPedia: The Non-Pneumatic anti-shock garment