US-based Saint Louis University (SLU) Care has started a clinical trial to evaluate the InPress Postpartum Haemorrhage Intrauterine device as a potential treatment to stop excessive bleeding for mothers after childbirth. 

Led by SLUCare obstetricians, the trial is currently underway at SSM Health St Mary’s Hospital, which is the first of the total eight centres planned for the trial.

Usually, oxytocin is used as the first line of treatment to address excessive bleeding that is believed to be caused by a failure of uterine contraction, while further blood loss is treated using additional drugs, an intrauterine balloon, uterine artery embolisation, or possibly a hysterectomy. 

However, these treatments are considered time-consuming and might result in life-threatening blood loss during further surgery. 

To address these concerns, the InPress Postpartum Haemorrhage Intrauterine device is designed to target the body's natural healing mechanism, eliminating the need for pharmaceuticals or invasive surgical procedures. 

"If this trial is successful, it could change the way postpartum hemorrhage is treated around the world and potentially save many lives."

Following insertion into a uterus after childbirth, the vaccum-powered device is intended to gently stimulate uterine contractions and restore the uterus to its appropriate size.

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Trial’s principal investigator Gilad Gross said: "If this trial is successful, it could change the way postpartum hemorrhage is treated around the world and potentially save many lives, especially in developing countries where the risk of death is greater."

Developed by medical device start-up InPress Technologies, the device is intended to be a cost-effective, quick and effective solution for minimising risks of death and during childbirth.

In a clinical trial performed with ten Indonesian women in 2014 and 2015, the Inpress device was reported to cease the haemorrhage within a matter of minutes. 

Image: Gilad Gross is a professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and women's health at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study. Photo: courtesy of Saint Louis University.