The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on care of women with ectopic pregnancy in a tertiary London hospital
ectopic, covid, pandemic, laparoscopy, early pregnancy, tubal
Published online: Jan 12 2022
Background: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a central London tertiary referral hospital’s nurse-led Early Pregnancy & Acute Gynaecology Unit (EPAGU) suspended its walk-in service in favour of a telephone triage system with scheduled appointments.
Objective: To assess if the pandemic and this adaptation to clinical services had an impact on the presentation, management and complication rate of ectopic pregnancies.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective review was performed of ectopic pregnancies diagnosed in the EPAGU between 5th of March 2020 – 15th of July 2020 (pandemic) and 5th of March 2019 – 15th of July 2019 (pre-pandemic).
Main outcome measures: Ultrasound findings, patient demographics, serum hCG concentrations, operative findings and complications.
Results: There was a 36% reduction in attendances to the unit during the pandemic. Allowing for this, there was no significant difference in the diagnosis rate between the two periods. There was no significant difference in the gestation at diagnosis, serum hCG concentration or volume of mass at presentation. There was also no significant difference in rate of surgical intervention or complications including rupture of fallopian tube, haemoperitoneum or need for blood transfusion.
Conclusion: This study suggests this is a safe means of caring for women with ectopic pregnancies which does not limit management options nor lead to higher complication rates.
What is new: Other EPAGUs may choose to adopt a telephone triage system with reassurance of its safety.