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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Back Alley Revisited: Sepsis after Attempted Self-Induced Abortion


While unsafe abortions have become rare in the United States, the practice persists. We present a 24-year-old female with a 21-week twin gestation who presented to the emergency department with complications of an attempted self-induced abortion. Her complicated clinical course included sepsis, chorioamnionitis, fetal demise, and a total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy for complications of endomyometritis. We discuss unsafe abortions, risk factors, and the management of septic abortion. Prompt recognition by the emergency physician and aggressive management of septic abortion is critical to decreasing maternal morbidity and mortality.

[West J Emerg Med. 2009;10(4):278-280.]

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