Ectopic pregnancies occur in about 1 out of 50 pregnancies (about 2 percent of pregnancies), but account for nearly 3 percent of maternal deaths. Ectopic pregnancies require urgent treatment. Quickly diagnosing and treating ectopic pregnancy is critical to preserving the safety and health of pregnant people. Training and supporting primary care clinicians to manage ectopic pregnancies can save lives and support healthy future pregnancies.
In May, RHAP’s medical director and two former fellows published “Ectopic Pregnancy: Diagnosis and Management,” an article in American Family Physician that outlines exactly how to diagnose and manage ectopic pregnancies in primary care settings. We have developed an info sheet that explains exactly what an ectopic pregnancy is, created an algorithm to help guide clinicians through the complexities of accurately figuring out if someone is experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, and published a clinical protocol that health centers can adopt that outline the best evidenced-based approach to providing this care. It is time for primary care providers to provide this critical care to their patients.
Now, when many hospitals are overrun caring for patients with COVID-19, managing ectopic pregnancies in primary care settings makes more sense than ever.