Use of oxytocin in the Uniject™ injection system to prevent severe bleeding
Women in wealthy nations rarely die from bleeding during childbirth. Not so in developing countries.
Worldwide, 130,000 women die each year from hemorrhage during childbirth. The risk is especially high for those who give birth at home or in poorly equipped local health centers. To improve the odds of survival for these women, PATH is advancing use of oxytocin in the Uniject injection system.
Getting help where it is needed
Oxytocin, a drug that causes the uterus to contract, is effective for reducing the risk of bleeding. The drug is usually given by health professionals in hospitals. Women who do not give birth at a hospital—including many women in developing countries—have often been unable to access the drug.
Use of oxytocin in Uniject promises to make this potentially lifesaving treatment available to women wherever they give birth. The easy-to-use, injection-ready format enables use by midwives, village health workers, and others in the community with lower levels of health care training. A time-temperature indicator—a small sticker measuring cumulative heat exposure—on each dose helps prevent accidental use of spoiled oxytocin or waste of good oxytocin that may have been exposed to low amounts of heat.
Partnering for pilot use and evaluation
PATH has partnered with companies in South America and Asia to manufacture oxytocin in the Uniject device, and we are helping to pilot use by lower-level health workers in Latin America and Africa. Results will guide further work to introduce this promising application of Uniject technology.
Uniject is a trademark of BD.