New research has found that wearing a simple reusable garment modelled on military anti-shock pants could prevent as many as 100,000 childbirth deaths every year.

The neoprene garment, which is similar to the bottom half of a wet-suit, is designed to push the blood from the legs upwards towards vital organs if a woman haemorrhages after delivering a baby.

The study by researchers at the University of California in San Francisco found that women treated with the suit lost 50% less blood than those who only underwent the standard treatment.

The design of the garment is similar to military anti-shock trousers used to resuscitate patients bleeding from the lower body. It is intended for women in developing countries, where most childbirths happen in homes without medical care.

The findings of the study have been published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.