Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Managing incomplete abortion

Midwifery education module 6

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 193
Languages: English, Portuguese
ISBN: 9241546662 (printed); 9241547062 (CD-ROM)



This module begins with an explanation of abortion, including the types of abortion, the effect of abortion on maternal mortality and morbidity, the prevention of unwanted pregnancy, laws and regulations related to abortion, sociocultural and religious perspectives, and the role of midwives in abortion care, with particular emphasis on emergency abortion care. The content then covers the factors which contribute to abortion, how it can be identified and differentiated from other conditions, how it can be prevented and, if it does occur, how it can be managed.

The skills specific to managing incomplete abortion include: manual vacuum aspiration, and post-abortion family planning counselling and methods. The following skills, which are also in the postpartum haemorrhage module, are included because they may be necessary when managing incomplete abortion: applying bimanual compression to the uterus; applying manual compression to the aorta; repair of cervical and high vaginal tears. The general skills in this module include: taking and recording observations; taking blood samples for analysis; setting up and monitoring intravenous infusions; monitoring blood transfusions; administering drugs, urinary catheterization; preventing thromboembolic disorder; universal precautions for prevention of infection; and maintaining records.

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