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Australia: Emergency department presentations for problems in early pregnancy | bpas Reproductive Review
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5 September 2011

Australia: Emergency department presentations for problems in early pregnancy

From Australia and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The authors note that many women with problems in early pregnancy such as vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain present to the emergency department (ED). The aim of this study was to describe demographic, service delivery and diagnostic characteristics of women who presented to the ED with a problem in early pregnancy.

Data were reviewed for all electronically available ED presentations in 2008 in NSW, Australia according to diagnostic codes related to problems in early pregnancy (N=12,061). Descriptive statistics were used to illustrate relevant characteristics, and adjusted odds ratios were used to highlight the predictors of key service delivery outcomes.

Women who presented to the ED for a problem in early pregnancy accounted for 1.2% of all ED presentations for women. The average age of women who presented to the ED for a problem in early pregnancy was 29.3 years, with 25% aged 35 years or older. Over a fourth (28%) of women presented to the ED on a weekend and over a third (37%) presented after-hours. Most (70%) women were seen according to their triage category, and the median length of stay in the ED was just under 4 h. One-fourth of women were admitted to hospital, which was 3.8 times more likely among women with an ectopic pregnancy.

The authors concluded that the findings of this research may be useful for hospitals and clinicians to review and improve their current service delivery models for women who present to the ED with a problem in early pregnancy.

Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice, Justice Health, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, 152 Bunnerong Road, Eastgardens, NSW 2035, Australia. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Emergency department presentations for problems in early pregnancy. Indig D, Warner A, Saxton A. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2011 Jun;51(3):257-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2011.01301.x. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

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