The impact of postpartum hemorrhage on hospital length of stay and inpatient mortality: a National Inpatient Sample–based analysis

Ariela L. Marshall, Urshila Durani, Adam Bartley, Clinton E. Hagen, Aneel Ashrani, Carl Rose, Ronald S. Go, Rajiv K. Pruthi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Background Postpartum hemorrhage is a major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality, but the association between postpartum hemorrhage and hospital length of stay has not been rigorously investigated. Objective We explored the impact of postpartum hemorrhage on hospital length of stay and inpatient mortality, as these outcomes have both clinical and economic significance. Study Design We performed a retrospective analysis using data from the National Inpatient Sample database during the 2012 through 2013 time period. Deliveries were classified as postpartum hemorrhage due to uterine atony, nonatonic postpartum hemorrhage, or not complicated by postpartum hemorrhage (nonpostpartum hemorrhage). Average length of stay and inpatient mortality rates were compared between groups. Results Over the study interval, postpartum hemorrhage occurred in 3% of deliveries. Among deliveries complicated by postpartum hemorrhage, 76.6% were attributed to uterine atony and 23.4% were nonatonic. Women with nonatonic postpartum hemorrhage had the highest average length of stay (3.67 days) followed by atonic postpartum hemorrhage (2.98 days) and nonpostpartum hemorrhage (2.63 days); P <.001, all comparisons. Inpatient mortality rate of nonatonic postpartum hemorrhage over the entire study period was 104 per 100,000 compared to 019 per 100,000 for atonic postpartum hemorrhage and 3 per 100,000 for nonpostpartum hemorrhage deliveries (P <.001). Conclusion From 2012 through 2013, women with postpartum hemorrhage experienced significantly longer length of stay and higher inpatient mortality rates than women without postpartum hemorrhage, largely attributable to nonatonic causes of postpartum hemorrhage. As hospital length of stay and inpatient mortality are important outcomes from both clinical and societal perspectives, interventions to reduce morbidity and mortality related to postpartum hemorrhage may simultaneously facilitate delivery of more cost-effective care and improve both maternal and population health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344.e1-344.e6
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • health outcomes
  • mortality
  • postpartum hemorrhage


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