Secondary postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) is a condition which affects 0.2–3.0% of women. Despite its impact on maternal morbidity, there is a lack of understanding of the cost burden of disease.


To determine the economic cost of secondary PPH in the postpartum period, compared to the costs for women without this diagnosis.

Materials and methods

Data were prospectively collected on a cohort of 97 women who presented with secondary PPH to the emergency department (ED) between July 2020 and February 2021. A case–control design was then used to compare postpartum cost data from these patients to a group of 97 controls who were matched to maternal demographics, and who did not present with secondary PPH.


For women with secondary PPH, there were significantly more hospital attendances, and postpartum costs were higher for all cost subcategories across ED, admissions, and outpatient attendances (P < 0.0001), compared to controls. The total cost of postpartum care for 97 patients with secondary PPH was $254 377.62 with an average cost per patient of $2622.45, compared to $26 670.46 for 97 controls with an average cost of $274.95 per patient (P < 0.0001). This demonstrates a 9.5-fold increase in postpartum costs per woman with secondary PPH.


Secondary PPH is an under-researched condition which presents a significant cost burden for the health system. Evidence-based guidelines addressing the prevention and management of secondary PPH may assist in minimising this cost burden for both the health service and the patient.


Delayed postpartum haemorrhage, Endometritis, Retained products of conception, Postpartum period, Cost of illness

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Available for download on Friday, March 22, 2024

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