Woman suffers vision loss following postpartum haemorrhage

The patient experienced reduced acuity in her left eye and a visual field defect after a postpartum bleed that required a 10-unit blood transfusion

woman holding stomach

BMJ Case Reports authors have described their treatment of a woman in her 30s who experienced vision loss following a postpartum haemorrhage (PPH).

The patient required 10 units of blood transfusion following an elective caesarean section.

Three days after giving birth, the woman’s best corrected visual acuity was 6/6 in her right eye and 6/9 in her left eye.

She also experienced a left inferior altitudinal visual field defect that faded from black to a yellow-green haze over 24 hours.

Her visual acuity returned to 6/6 within one month without treatment.

The report authors highlighted that PPH may cause ischaemic damage to the eye.

“Choroidal hypoperfusion is a rare but important ocular consequence of PPH and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of PPH-associated visual loss,” they shared.

Clinicians added that risk factors which may worsen visual outcomes include prolonged PPH and underlying vascular risk factors, such as diabetes, hypertension and smoking.

“In this case, the patient had a complete return to baseline vision likely due to rapid vascular resuscitation and lack of other comorbidities,” the authors noted.