The GOT-IT trial – treating a retained placenta without surgery

Fiona Denison, Jane Norman, John Norrie, Gladys McPherson, Graham Scotland, Cynthia Clarkson, Mathilde Peace, Jane Brewin, Sheonagh Brook-Smith

Research taking place in a Tommy’s centre is helping to find out how to treat women with retained placentas without surgery.

This research is now complete

When the placenta is not pushed out of the vagina after delivery – known as retained placenta – this can cause heavy bleeding. At the moment, nearly 11,000 women suffer from a retained placenta every year in the UK. The UK-wide GOT-IT trial wants to find a better way of treating women with this problem.

Currently, the only treatment is to remove the placenta in the operating theatre. This is invasive and traumatic for new mothers, as they are separated from their babies and placed under anaesthesia.

Research partly taking place in Tommy’s Edinburgh centre is looking at whether a substance called glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) could be used instead of surgery to treat women with a retained placenta.

Following a small pilot study, 1,106 women are taking part in the main trial, which has now expanded to 28 centres across the UK.



Research papers

  • The role of therapeutic optimism in recruitment to a clinical trial in a peripartum setting: balancing hope and uncertainty. Hallowell N, Snowdon C, Morrow S, Norman JE, Denison FC, Lawton J. Trials. 2016 Jun 1;17(1):267.
  • Recruiting and consenting into a peripartum trial in an emergency setting: a qualitative study of the experiences and views of women and healthcare professionals. Lawton J, Snowdon C, Morrow S, Norman JE, Denison FC, Hallowell N. Trials. 2016 Apr 11;17:195.
  • Written versus verbal consent: a qualitative study of stakeholder views of consent procedures used at the time of recruitment into a peripartum trial conducted in an emergency setting. Lawton J., Hallowell N., Snowdon C., Norman J.E., Carruthers K., Denison F. BMC Medical Ethics. 2017 May.
  • Denison FC, Norrie J, Lawton J, et al A pragmatic group sequential, placebo-controlled, randomised trial to determine the effectiveness of glyceryl trinitrate for retained placenta (GOT-IT): a study protocol BMJ Open 2017;7:e017134. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017134


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This study takes place in a Tommy's centre and is funded by the Health Technology Assessment Board

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