Using the non-pneumatic anti-shock garment to save women's lives in Timor-Leste
Joana had been waiting in the maternity for a few hours. When contractions became more frequent, she was moved to the labor ward and delivered her second son, assisted by Francisca, a hospital midwife. Suddenly Joana started to bleed heavily. The midwife quickly diagnosed uterine atony and commenced uterine massage to help stop the bleeding while her colleague called Dr. Humberto, the hospital’s obstetrician.
“Uterine atony is the most common cause of postpartum hemorrhage, and also the most serious one. Within a short period of time, a woman with this condition can bleed to death. When I arrived, despite intensive uterine massage by the midwife, the patient had already lost a lot of blood and was becoming unconscious. Only the NASG could reverse this situation,” Dr. Humberto explained a few days later.
NASG is a “non-pneumatic anti-shock garment”, a low-technology device that can slow excessive bleeding and stabilize a mother with postpartum hemorrhage until she reaches a health facility or, if she is already at the hospital, until appropriate treatment is available. It provides compression on the lower part of the body so that blood can circulate in the vital organs.
Today, Joana is very thankful to the hospital personnel, especially Dr. Humberto and Francisca, who did not hesitate to use the NASG. As Joana recalls, “All I remember right after my son was born was an emergency situation around me, then my vision became blurred and I thought I was dying. I woke up inside the NASG and felt secure. I felt I was in good hand and close to my baby.”
|Related Project: Timor-Leste Health Improvement Project (2011-2015)|