Society of Family Planning Clinical Recommendation: Management of hemorrhage at the time of abortion

Publications & Guidelines, Joint Publication,

Abstract : Hemorrhage after abortion is rare, occurring in fewer than 1% of abortions, but associated morbidity may be significant. Although medication abortion is associated with more bleeding than procedural abortion, overall bleeding for the two methods is minimal and not clinically different. Hemorrhage can be caused by atony, coagulopathy, and abnormal placentation, as well as by such procedure complications as perforation, cervical laceration, and retained tissue. Evidence for practices around postabortion hemorrhage is extremely limited. The Society of Family Planning recommends preoperative identification of individuals at high risk of hemorrhage as well as development of an organized approach to treatment. Specifically, individuals with a uterine scar and complete placenta previa seeking abortion at gestations after the first trimester should be evaluated for placenta accreta spectrum. For those at high risk of hemorrhage, referral to a higher-acuity center should be considered. We propose an algorithm for treating postabortion hemorrhage as follows: (1) assessment and examination, (2) uterine massage and medical therapy, (3) resuscitative measures with laboratory evaluation and possible reaspiration or balloon tamponade, and (4) interventions such as embolization and surgery. Evidence supports the use of oxytocin as prophylaxis for bleeding with dilation and evacuation; methylergonovine prophylaxis, however, is associated with more bleeding at the time of dilation and evacuation. Future research is needed on tranexamic acid as prophylaxis and treatment and misoprostol as prophylaxis. Structural inequities contribute to bleeding risk. Acknowledging how our policies hinder or remedy health inequities is essential when developing new guidelines and approaches to clinical services.

Original Article

TAGS: hemorrhage, postpartum hemorrhage, placenta increta, placenta percreta, accreta, placenta accreta

CATEGORIES: Joint Publication