JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The WOMAN Trial (World Maternal Antifibrinolytic Trial): tranexamic acid for the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage: an international randomised, double blind placebo controlled trial

Haleema Shakur, Diana Elbourne, Metin Gülmezoglu, Zarko Alfirevic, Carine Ronsmans, Elizabeth Allen, Ian Roberts
Trials 2010 April 16, 11: 40
20398351

BACKGROUND: Each year, worldwide about 530,000 women die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Of the deaths 99% are in low and middle income countries. Obstetric haemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality, most occurring in the postpartum period. Systemic antifibrinolytic agents are widely used in surgery to prevent clot breakdown (fibrinolysis) in order to reduce surgical blood loss. At present there is little reliable evidence from randomised trials on the effectiveness of tranexamic acid in the treatment of postpartum haemorrhage.

METHODS: The Trial aims to determine the effect of early administration of tranexamic acid on mortality, hysterectomy and other morbidities (surgical interventions, blood transfusion, risk of non-fatal vascular events) in women with clinically diagnosed postpartum haemorrhage. The use of health services and safety, especially thromboembolic effect, on breastfed babies will also be assessed. The trial will be a large, pragmatic, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial among 15,000 women with a clinical diagnosis of postpartum haemorrhage. All legally adult women with clinically diagnosed postpartum haemorrhage following vaginal delivery of a baby or caesarean section will potentially be eligible. The fundamental eligibility criterion is the responsible clinician's 'uncertainty' as to whether or not to use an antifibrinolytic agent in a particular woman with postpartum haemorrhage. Treatment will entail a dose of tranexamic acid (1 gram by intravenous injection) or placebo (sodium chloride 0.9%) will be given as soon as possible after randomisation. A second dose may be given if after 30 minutes bleeding continues, or if it stops and restarts within 24 hours after the first dose. The main analyses will be on an 'intention to treat' basis, irrespective of whether the allocated treatment was received or not. Subgroup analyses for the primary outcome will be based on type of delivery; administration or not of prophylactic uterotonics; and on whether the clinical decision to consider trial entry was based primarily on estimated blood loss alone or on haemodynamic instability. A study with 15,000 women will have over 90% power to detect a 25% reduction from 4% to 3% in the primary endpoint of mortality or hysterectomy.

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