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J Reprod Med. 2012 Jan-Feb;57(1-2):17-25.

Women presenting to an emergency facility with abnormal uterine bleeding: patient characteristics and prevalence of anemia.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and Infants' Hospital, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02905-2401, USA.



To describe the population of women seeking urgent medical attention for abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), in terms of symptoms, medical history and clinical examination findings, and to determine characteristics associated with anemia in this population.


We performed a retrospective cohort study of patients seen in the Women and Infants Hospital Emergency Room for AUB from August 2005 to February 2006 (n = 378). Data collected included demographic factors, clinical history, physical examination findings, and laboratory and radiologic findings. We calculated prevalence ratios for moderate to severe anemia (defined as hemoglobin <10 g/dL) and sensitivity and specificity of clinical characteristics for identifying women with anemia.


The median age of patients was 32 years (range, 12-72 years). Approximately half (49.2%) had a concurrent medical condition which could affect their treatment options, and 14% had moderate to severe anemia. The only factors associated with moderate to severe anemia were (1) having both tachycardia and hypotension, (2) duration of bleeding >7 days and (3) hemoglobin of <10 g/dL in the previous year.


A substantial proportion of patients seeking urgent medical attention for AUB had potential contraindications for the mainstays of treatment. Clinical symptoms and bleeding history were poorly predictive for moderate to severe anemia in this population of women.

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