An exploration of the prevalence and patterns of care for women presenting with mid-trimester loss

S. Cullen, S. Power, B. Coughlan, J. Chaney, M. Butler, M. Brosnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Mid-trimester loss (MTL) is an area that is poorly defined in the literature and often under reported in clinical practice. The prevalence of MTL in Ireland is uncertain and has a huge impact on the woman, her family and maternity care services. Aims: To explore the prevalence and patterns of care for women with MTL in a large Maternity hospital in Ireland. Methods: A descriptive, exploratory study was used involving a retrospective chart audit. Results: 220 women presented with MTL over the 3 year data collection period (January 2011–December 2013), giving a rate of 0.8 % of all deliveries. The majority of women had no previous pregnancy losses and were multiparous (i.e., had a previous pregnancy >500 g). The mean gestational age was 17.69 weeks (SD = 2.73). The mean length of hospital stay was 1.89 days. Intra muscular (IM) analgesia was the most commonly (58.5 %) used medication. Follow up hospital care was received in over 78 % of cases. The majority of women were referred the CMS Bereavement and Chaplain services, with a small number (approx. 5 %) referred to the social worker. Over 46.4 % of families availed of the hospital burial service. Conclusions: Results suggest the incidence of mid-trimester loss may be slightly lower than the 1 or 2 % of pregnancies reported in the literature. The incidence of mid-trimester loss in multiparous women is approximately twice that of nulliparous women. The referral services offered in the study were utilised by most of the women, as were follow-up clinic appointments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalIrish Journal of Medical Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bereavement
  • Mid-trimester loss
  • Miscarriage
  • Pregnancy loss


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