Nurses, midwives can safely perform abortions, review of evidence suggests
Published on September 1, 2012 at 9:15 AM
"Abortions are just as safe when performed by trained nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants as when doctors do them, a new review of the evidence suggests," Reuters reports. "Researchers analyzed five studies that compared first-trimester abortion complications and side effects based on who performed the procedures in close to 9,000 women -- and typically found no differences," the news service writes. The review is published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, according to the news service.
"Having trained nurses and midwives perform abortions could also allow some women to get care before they would be able to see a doctor -- and earlier access typically means fewer complications and better outcomes, [Amy Levi, a professor of midwifery at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque who was not involved in the study,] said," the news service writes, adding, "That's especially the case in developing countries, where doctors who perform abortions may be few and far between." However, "Nathalie Kapp from the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and her colleagues said the findings don't apply to nurses and midwives who perform abortions without access to emergency care nearby, or to abortions done after the first trimester," Reuters notes (Pittman, 8/30).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.