Creation of interdisciplinary guidelines for care of women presenting to the emergency department with pregnancy loss

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Abstract

A research trajectory is reported that created state-of-the-art interdisciplinary guidelines for care of women and their families who arrive in the emergency department with pregnancy loss. These guidelines include attention to mother and family bereavement as well as care of the fetus. Design was a triangulated non-experimental exploratory action research for the purpose of changing practice. Included were: (1) A qualitative study of emergency room nurses and physicians to assess beliefs/barriers to providing optimal care for pregnancy loss patients. (2) A focus group of perinatal bereavement providers; (3) Another focus group in the form of a sponsored National Summit of professional and lay experts and (4) A Delphi Study to craft language for national position statement. Results allowed the creation of interdisciplinary guidelines from the National Perinatal Association. These guidelines are being adopted by organizations and facilities throughout the United States. Training programs for emergency department personnel have been created by pregnancy loss organizations and are available.

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