published Friday, December 17th, 2010

New device slows postpartum bleeding, manufacturer says

by Emily Bregel

A locally made medical device designed to help slow postpartum bleeding is a big step up from devices in use at area hospitals, local medical personnel said.

On Thursday, leaders of the medical device company Glenveigh Medical presented sample "Ebb" devices to nurse managers from the labor and delivery units at Erlanger, Erlanger East and Parkridge East hospitals.

The Ebb, developed by Salt Lake City-based maternal-fetal medicine specialists and licensed by Glenveigh, can reduce postpartum blood loss and avert a hysterectomy or save a life, officials said. The device involves two polyurethane balloons that fill with liquid to put pressure on the uterine wall from the inside, helping to stop bleeding.

Parkridge already has ordered a supply of the Ebb, while Erlanger officials likely will do so after a trial run, staff said.

"This will be huge," said Michelle Shrum, nurse manager for single-room maternity care at Erlanger East. Other balloon devices have only one balloon. They often slip out of place and are sometimes too small to be effective, she said.

Postpartum hemorrhage occurs in 5 percent of births and is the most common preventable cause of maternal death, said Dr. David Adair, Chattanooga maternal-fetal medicine specialist and chairman of Glenveigh Medical.

In many cases, uterine massage or medications can stop bleeding, but a balloon device is "another tool in the arsenal," he said.

Glenveigh also is designing a simplified version of the device that could be used in Third World countries, Adair said.

Contact staff writer Emily Bregel at or 423-757-6467.

about Emily Bregel...

Health care reporter Emily Bregel has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press since July 2006. She previously covered banking and wrote for the Life section. Emily, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. She received a first-place award for feature writing from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Contest for a 2009 article about a boy with a congenital heart defect. She ...

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