Efficacy of Intravenous Iron for Treating Postpartum Anemia in Low-Resource African Countries: A Pilot Study in Malawi.

Editorial: J Womens Health
Fecha: 01/12/2010
Armand-Ug¨®n R, Cheong T, Matapandewu G, Rojo-Sanch¨ªs A, Bisbe E, Muñoz M; for the Anaemia Working Group España.

Abstract Background: Postpartum hemorrhage may lead to maternal morbidity and mortality, increases risks of transfusion, and incurs costs. We report on the feasibility and efficacy of in-hospital intravenous (IV) iron for treating postoperative anemia at Mtengo wa Nthenga, Malawi. Patients and methods: Twenty-eight consecutive women undergoing surgery for complicated pregnancy or complicated childbirth entered the study. Patients with hemoglobin (Hb) <10 g/dL on postoperative day 1 (n = 14) received IV iron sucrose (200 mg/day, 3 consecutive days), and those with Hb ¡Ý10 g/dL (n = 14) received oral iron (ferrous sulfate, 256 mg/day). In-hospital postoperative Hb increase and blood transfusion were recorded. Results: Mean changes in Hb from postoperative day 1 to postoperative day 7 were -0.6 ¡À 1.2 g/dL and 2.1 ¡À 1.7 g/dL, for the oral and IV iron groups, respectively (p = 0.001). No side effect was seen with IV iron. Only 1 of 4 women receiving allogeneic blood was transfused after the initiation of IV iron treatment. Conclusions: Our results suggest that IV iron sucrose is an effective drug for treating puerperal anemia, leading to a rapid recovery of Hb levels. The current availability of generic iron sucrose preparations, with considerably lower acquisition costs, may facilitate in-hospital access to this treatment option in low-resource countries.

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