Prior studies examining bleeding with uterine evacuation have focused on high-volume centers performing over 1100 procedures annually. The aim of this study was to examine associations between blood loss and patient and procedural characteristics in a center performing fewer than 50 procedures annually.
This retrospective cohort study, with institutional review board approval, utilized procedural codes to identify patients undergoing uterine evacuation procedures between 14 weeks’ and 24 weeks’ gestational age across a 50-month period. The primary outcome was estimated blood loss; secondary outcomes were hemorrhage, transfusion and hospital re-admission. Associations between blood loss and other variables were examined using linear regression models.
Charts of 161 women met inclusion criteria. Median estimated blood loss was 400 mL (IQR 300 mL) with 37% of patients having blood loss of ≥500 mL. In univariate analyses, increased blood loss was associated with later gestational age (P <0.001) and pregnancy termination (P <0.001). In a multiple linear regression model, both remained significant. Each one-week increase in gestational age was associated with a 7.1% mean increase in estimated blood loss (95% CI 2.47% to 11.9%; P=0.003). Patients whose uterine evacuation was indicated for pregnancy termination had an 80.6% increase in blood loss compared with those with pre-operative fetal demise (95% CI 37.5% to 137.2%; P <0.001). Rates of peri-operative transfusion and re-admission for bleeding were <4%.
While blood loss may be greater in low volume centers, our transfusion and re-admission rates were low following second trimester uterine evacuation.