Introduction of an early pregnancy assessment unit: audit on the first 6 months of service
Background Women experiencing bleeding in early pregnancy suffer considerable anxiety. Waiting for a considerable time for a diagnosis adds to their grievance. Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) is a dedicated service that provides quick and easy accessibility to diagnosis, treatment and support service. Aim To monitor the first 6 months of the EPAU service in the Rotunda Hospital, to identify its shortcomings, so that we can ensure effective EPAU care in future. Methods A retrospective audit between July and December 2002 was performed. Results A majority of patients (83.4%) were selfreferrals. All patients were seen between 1 and 3 h. In the miscarriage group, 218/278 (78.4%) was managed surgically by evacuation and a further 60/278 (21.6%) received conservative or medical treatment. Among 13 ectopic pregnancies, 5/13 (39%) had laparoscopic management. Conclusion This clinic has enabled us to manage early pregnancy bleeding in an effective manner within a satisfactory time period. The high surgical intervention rate for miscarriages is highlighted to support the need for greater emphasis on medical and expectant management.