Emergency department visits after abortion extremely rare

(HealthDay)—Abortion-related visits to the emergency department comprise a very small proportion of reproductive-aged women’s visits, according to a study published June 14 in BMC Medicine.

Ushma D. Upadhyay, from the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues assessed the incidence of abortion-related emergency department visits among women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years) in the United States using 2009-2013 data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

The researchers found that of the 189,480,685 emergency department visits made by reproductive-aged women, 0.01 percent were abortion-related. For just over half of these visits (51 percent), women received observational care only. Twenty percent of abortion-related ED visits were for major incidents, and 22 percent of abortion-related visits resulted in admission to the same hospital for abortion-related reasons. It is estimated that 1.4 percent of these visits (n = 390) were potentially due to attempts to self-induce abortion. Over the study period, 0.11 percent of all abortions resulted in major incidents as seen in emergency departments. Women covered by Medicaid (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.28) and women with a comorbid condition (AORs, 2.47 to 4.63) had higher odds of having a major incident versus women using private insurance or those without comorbid conditions.

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