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INTRODUCTION: Pregnant women with a fibrinogen level <2 g/L represent a high-risk group that is associated with severe postpartum hemorrhage and other complications. Women who would qualify for fibrinogen therapy are not yet identified. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted using the UK Obstetric Surveillance System between November 2017 and October 2018 in any UK hospital with a consultant-led maternity unit. Any woman pregnant or immediately postpartum with a fibrinogen <2 g/L was included. Our aims were to determine the incidence of fibrinogen <2 g/L in pregnancy, and to describe its causes, management and outcomes. RESULTS: Over the study period 124 women with fibrinogen <2 g/L were identified (1.7 per 10 000 maternities; 95% confidence interval 1.4-2.0 per 10 000 maternities). Less than 5% of cases of low fibrinogen were due to preexisting inherited dysfibrinogenemia or hypofibrinogenemia. Sixty percent of cases were due to postpartum hemorrhage caused by placental abruption, atony, or trauma. Amniotic fluid embolism and placental causes other than abruption (previa, accreta, retention) were associated with the highest estimated blood loss (median 4400 mL) and lowest levels of fibrinogen. Mortality was high with two maternal deaths due to massive postpartum hemorrhage, 27 stillbirths, and two neonatal deaths. CONCLUSIONS: Fibrinogen <2 g/L often, but not exclusively, affected women with postpartum hemorrhage due to placental abruption, atony, or trauma. Other more rare and catastrophic obstetrical events such as amniotic fluid embolism and placenta accreta also led to low levels of fibrinogen. Maternal and perinatal mortality was extremely high in our cohort.

Original publication




Journal article


Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand

Publication Date



fibrinogen, hemorrhage, placenta, postpartum, pregnancy