The following article requires a subscription:

(Format: HTML, PDF)

Purpose of review: An important cause of maternal morbidity and direct maternal death is obstetric haemorrhage at caesarean section. Concerns regarding allogeneic blood safety, limited blood supplies and rising health costs have collectively generated enthusiasm for the utility of methods intended to reduce the use of allogeneic blood transfusion in cases of haemorrhage at caesarean section. This can be achieved by intraoperative cell salvage (IOCS). The aim of this review is to summarize and examine the evidence for the efficacy of IOCS during caesarean section, in women at risk of haemorrhage, in reducing the need for allogeneic blood transfusion.

Recent findings: The majority of the evidence currently available is from case reports and case series. Although this evidence appears to support the use of IOCS in obstetrics, strong clinical evidence or economic effectiveness from clinical trials are essential to support the routine practice of IOCS in obstetrics.

Summary: Current evidence is limited to reported case series and two small controlled studies. Overall, IOCS may reduce the need for allogeneic blood transfusions during caesarean section. Future large randomized trials are required to assess effectiveness, cost effectiveness and safety. The results of the current ongoing SALVO (A randomised controlled trial of intra-operative cell salvage during caesarean section in women at risk of haemorrhage) trial will shed light on these aspects.

Copyright (C) 2014 YEAR Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.