Introduction: In this study, we describe the distribution of placenta delivery and the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage in both spontaneous placental delivery and manual removal of the placenta. Methods: A retrospective study was performed of 7603 singleton vaginal deliveries of a gestational age over 32 weeks, registered between September 2011 and 2016. We calculated the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage (≥1000 mL blood loss) per 10-minute duration of the third stage. The odds ratio for developing postpartum hemorrhage was assessed, adjusted for risk factors. The incidence of postpartum hemorrhage was compared between women that did and did not receive manual removal of placenta. Results: The median duration of the third stage was 10 minutes (interquartile range 7-16 minutes). The median amount of blood loss was 300 mL (200-400 mL). The overall incidence of postpartum hemorrhage was 8.5%. With every additional 10 minutes of third-stage duration, the risk of developing postpartum hemorrhage significantly increased. In a third stage longer than 60 minutes, the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage was 21.2% without manual removal of the placenta and 70.3% with manual removal. Conclusions: The incidence of postpartum hemorrhage increases significantly from 10 to 19 minutes into the third stage. Women with the removal of the placenta had a significantly higher percentage of postpartum hemorrhage. The optimal timing for manual removal of the placenta should be investigated in a carefully designed randomized controlled trial to examine whether earlier manual removal of placenta lowers the incidence and limits the severity of postpartum hemorrhage.
van Ast, M., Goedhart, M. M., Luttmer, R., Orelio, C., Deurloo, K. L., & Veerbeek, J. (2019). The duration of the third stage in relation to postpartum hemorrhage. Birth, 46. https://doi.org/10.1111/birt.12441