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Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Jun;57(6):739-44.

Fatal septic abortion in the United States, 1975-1977.


In 1975 through 1977, 36 women in the United States died of septic abortion (12 legal, 15 spontaneous, 8 illegal, and 1 unclassified). The respective estimated death-to-case rates for septic abortion are 0.4 and 0.6 deaths per 100,000 legal and spontaneous abortions. Unmarried teenagers who undergo incomplete abortion at 16 weeks' gestation or more by intrauterine placement of a foreign body appear to have the highest risk of death from infection after legal abortion. Three of these risk factors (gestational age at the time of abortion, method, and completeness of abortion) can be influenced by medical personnel. Complete abortion by safe techniques early in pregnancy can help eliminate deaths from infection after legal abortion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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