PPH and REDHEADS?

  1. Hi everyone! I'm doing a little assignment on myths vs research in the workplace. Can you help me out? I work in a very large tertiary care centre where we have 600 births a month. It is a teaching hospital where lots of research is conducted. However, I often encounter the belief that women who are red-heads tend to bleed more excessively. This belief results in these women haveing their iv's in longer etc. I'm just wondering if anyone else has encountered this and what you feel about it? Thanks for you help!!
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  2. 34 Comments

  3. by   andiRN
    I was taught when I started OB nursing that redheads would bleed more. I have seen it over and over myself. However, I do not know the physiology behind that belief. We keep a very close eye on them during recovery after delivery. I will also say that a true redhead, with red hair on her head and her pubic region, seems to bleed more than one with darker pubic hair.

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  4. by   LAARN
    I've been a labor nurse now for 11 years and I have seen it time and time again! They bleed more. If a patient comes on to our unit and she's a redhead then someone always jokes that we'd better get the Methergine ready. Lisa
  5. by   VFONE
    If you ask your redheaded patients who have had other deliveries almost all of them will tell you that they had trouble with excessive bleeding after delivery. Don't know the cause of it - its almost a given.
  6. by   Tired
    It was so funny to read your question. I thought it was just an old wives/nurses tale...that was until I got into the business. I have had 10 years experience and work with people who have 35 years in, and it is very true that red heads bleed more. I will even pass that information on in report, that she is a redhead and needs extra watching. Do some research and let us know WHY!
  7. by   bbnurse
    So many truisms are based on facts. I know this to be true too. So what did your research show?????? Please share the why!!
    And thank you for the info'.
  8. by   gravida
    I for one will leave their IV in longer and perhaps. Have found this to be more truth than fiction. The biggest risk to PPH, is being a redheaded nurse, that is married to a lawyer......who is taping the entire delivery.

  9. by   timonrn
    ...AND worse yet, a redheaded L&D or OB nurse to boot!!! (I also watch out for MD's- they like to bleed, too...)


  10. by   medlegalrn
    I will have to agree with all of the above, in the past 8 years of practicing OB I have found that redheads will give you a run for the money...in more ways than just bleeding....although I'm a redhead (and yes...all the carpet and curtains match) have had 3 kids and have not bled an amazing amount after my ( vag ) deliveries....I kinda wonder if it may be linked to the darker the hair the more they bleed...as someone above mentioned? A Doc told me it was because me have one less clotting factor than most people...not sure if I believe him tho'...maybe the redheaded population needs some Vit K in our diets!! Another on one of those questions we gotta ask God when we get to heaven....hopefully I make it!! LOL Melissa
  11. by   HazeK
    So funny to read our myths/beliefs in print...
    but I agree!!! Years of experience confirm!
    Maybe I will have "natural hair color" added to our computerized forms so we can 'pull out' color of hair vs PPH & really check it out for sure!

    At one time I worked in a birthing hospital that had a Standard of Care that all first-time moms, all mothers of 5+ or all redheads had to have an IV! (Yes, WRITTEN in the P&P manual!!! LOL)

    Please let us all know the results of your study!


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  12. by   Mermaid4
    The old capillaries are larger and more friable....But I am still not sure why those long legged ladies always have to be watched for their quick labors....
  13. by   BETSRN
    I hope of all these women are being watched, that at least the nurses can substitute a heplock for a running IV. WE nurses deal with lots of "myths", and sometimes it's for the convenience of the nurses.
  14. by   veteranRN
    I am a true redhead, I've had bright red hair since the day I was born as is the rest of my family (mother, brother, sister, children, etc). I've had four kids and not one problem with PPH. Neither did my mother or my sister. Although every delivery nurse I've encountered has prepared themselves for it. I would like to see percentages of redheaded PPH'ers vs blonds and brunettes. I think you may be suprised at the results. I don't know that redheads are more likely to have PPH but maybe when one does we take more note of it.

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