Nurses Lead Improved Care For Miscarriage Patients
First Published: Investigator - September 2008
A project led by Emergency Department nurses is improving the hospital journey for women who experience bleeding in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
There is a possibility that women who experience bleeding in the first 12 weeks (first trimester) will have a miscarriage.
One in five pregnancies will end in miscarriage in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but unfortunately there is no medical intervention which can prevent a miscarriage from occurring.
Reasons for miscarriage include a malfunction of the early development of the fertilised egg, or development of pregnancy in the wrong part of the uterus.
‘We identified that it was important to consider the psychological, spiritual and emotional aspects of women as well as their medical needs,’ Acting Clinical Services Coordinator Jacki McDonald said.
Education sessions have been held for Emergency Department staff to gain a better understanding of miscarriage and the psychological needs of women.
‘Women experiencing miscarriage are going through a traumatic experience, and it can be difficult for some women to retain information, or be in the right frame of mind to ask questions,’ she said.
‘Some women are so distraught it is hard for them to understand what is happening, or why it has happened; other women get home and realise they didn’t ask enough questions.’
Detailed patient information brochures have been developed for women which provide information about miscarriage, medical advice and contact details to support groups and other resources.
All women experiencing miscarriage are now referred to FMC-based social workers, who offer counselling services and make follow up calls with patients.
‘Threatened miscarriage or miscarriage is something we really care about as nurses, and we decided that we wanted to do something about it,’ Jacki said.