Scientific letters

A case series of post-partum haemorrhage managed using Ellavi uterine balloon tamponade in a rural regional hospital

Gerhard B. Theron, Vulikaya Mpumlwana
South African Family Practice | Vol 63, No 1 : Part 2| a5266 | DOI: | © 2021 Gerhard Barnard Theron, Vulikaya Mpumlwana | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 December 2020 | Published: 11 May 2021

About the author(s)

Gerhard B. Theron, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
Vulikaya Mpumlwana, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa; and, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa

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Uterine balloon tamponade (UBT) should be attempted once emergency measures have been applied and medical treatment for post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) resulting from an atonic uterus has failed. Sinapi Biomedical (Pty) Ltd developed the Ellavi UBT, a free-flow pressure-controlled UBT unit. The device is affordable for use in lesser-resourced countries. A case series of Ellavi UBT used by medical officers in a rural regional hospital without specialist supervision was conducted. This case series was conducted in St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lusikisiki, South Africa. The hospital serves as the regional hospital for the Ingquza Hill Subdistrict in the Eastern Cape Province. The Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital (NMAH) in Mthatha is the tertiary referral hospital. Workshops were conducted on the use of Ellavi UBT, and devices were made freely available to the hospital. The case series included 10 patients. Six patients delivered by caesarean section, and four had normal vertex deliveries. All patients had additional oxytocin infusions, and eight patients received misoprostol. Following the insertion and inflation of the Ellavi UBT, the PPH stopped in seven patients, was much reduced in one patient and reduced in one patient. In one case, the Ellavi UBT had no effect on the bleeding. All 10 patients were referred to the NMAH. All patients in the case series had good outcomes. The insertion of the Ellavi UBT and subsequent referral proved to be feasible in a rural regional hospital. All patients included in the case series arrived at the referral hospital and had a good outcome.


rural regional hospital; post-partum haemorrhage; Ellavi uterine balloon


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