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Hawaii Med J. 1973 Jul-Aug;32(4):222-5.

A midtrimester procedure, not without its risks... Saline abortion: a review of the experience at Kapiolani hospital.



The experience with 107 saline instillation abortions at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecologic Hospital in Honolulu, during the first 7 months of 1972 is reviewed. 57.9% of the patients were primigravidas and 40.2% were multigravidas. Estimated length of gestation ranged from 14 to 23 weeks, with a mean of 17.7. 87/8% of the women were successfully aborted on the initial attempt, while technical difficulty with amniocentesis prevented the instillation of saline in 10.3%, and the method itself failed for 2. 30% of the primary attempts at abortion failed when gestation length was estimated at 15 to 16 weeks compared to a 7% failure rate at 17 to 18 weeks; no failures occurred at 19 weeks or more. Mean induction-abortion interval was 25.7 hours; gravidity appeared to exert little influence. 32.7% of the patients displayed postabortive complications which were defined by the following criteria: 1) failure of amniocentesis or failure to abort; 2) accidental intravascular injection of saline and immediate reaction consistent with this clinical syndrome; 3) fever, any recorded temperature of 100.6 degrees Farenheit or greater; 4) retained tissue; 5) hemorrhage, a decrease in hemoglobin of 2 gm or more. 14% of the women developed fever while failed abortion occurred for 12.1% and 10.3% displayed more than 1 complication. The highest complication rate (40%) occurred in 13-16 week gestation group; the lowest (29.6%) in the 17-20 weeks interval. A greater risk was found to exist for the very young patient (15 years and under) and the older patient (age 30 and over); complication rates were 50% and 40% respectively, compared to a rate of 25% for age 29. The group of patients having greater than 150 cc of amniotic fluid removed and greater than 150 cc of hypertonic saline instilled had the shortest interval to abortion. While complications encountered in this series of 107 patients were mainly minor, it should be noted that the incidence of these complications as well as the induction-abortion interval determine the length of hospitalization and consequently the cost of the procedure. Early abortion procedures reduce both cost and risk of complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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