Just in time: Visiting Nurse saves a mother’s life using UBT

Kevin Otieno* rescued a mother from the hands of death last December when he went to visit his wife, Beatrice* a nurse at Nyakongo Health Center in Nyando District.

Unaware of the predicament that lay ahead, Kevin who is also a health practitioner at Kokwanyo health center in Rachuonyo, patiently waited as his wife conducted a delivery.

The woman being attended to by Beatrice, had a hemoglobin level of 7g/dl which is medically considered to be quite low and can worsen the impact of bleeding during or after birth.

The delivery went on successfully but after removal of the placenta, the worst happened. The patient started to experience Primary Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) also known as severe bleeding.

Beatrice attempted to manage the bleeding using the conventional procedures she knew and those laid down by the Ministry of Health but realized she was fighting a losing battle- the patient was gradually weakening from PPH. In desperation, she called upon her husband, to assist in the situation.

Kevin having previously attended a workshop on emergency application of Uterine Baloon Tamponade for obstetric emergencies organized by KMET, instinctively requested for a condom, a catheter (tube) and a syringe as his wife and other health workers looked at him puzzled.

He was locally assembling a Uterine Baloon Tamponade an innovative device used to manage PPH.

Kevin inserted the condom in the patient’s cervix then inflated it using water. Ten minutes later the bleeding had stopped and after 8 hours the balloon was deflated and withdrawn; narrowly saving the mother’s life.

Kevin is often heard by his peers saying that no woman deserves to die from postpartum hemorrhage and has since been carrying an emergency UBT kit in his bag wherever he goes.

Health Providers in Turkana undergoing a practicum on the use of UBT at a previous workshop organized by KMET

Health Providers from the Western region of Kenya carrying out a practicum on the use of UBT at a previous workshop organized by KMET in Kisumu

A week before Kevin’s visit Nyakongo Health Center is reported to have lost a mother to PPH despite the health practitioners’ efforts to apply all the known techniques in managing severe bleeding.

It is reported that most expectant mothers in the area check into the facility with very low Hemoglobin levels up to to 5g/dl.

To curb such cases, nurses in Nyakongo are requesting for a training on UBT having witnessed first-hand its effectiveness as a remedy for PPH during obstetric emergency.

Story Shared by Liddy Dulo, Programs Coordinator- KMET
*The two health practitioners’ names have been altered on their request


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