Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Reported management of threatened miscarriage by general practitioners in Wessex.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 295 doi: (Published 05 September 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;295:583
  1. C Everett,
  2. H Ashurst,
  3. I Chalmers
  1. Alton Health Centre, Hampshire.


    Questionnaires were sent to all 1432 general practitioners in the Wessex region to obtain information about their current management of bleeding in early pregnancy. A total of 1290 (90%) returned completed questionnaires. These showed widely varying views about the prognostic importance of particular symptoms and physical signs and about elements of management. Although 96% of the respondents prescribed bed rest more or less routinely for heavy bleeding in early pregnancy, only 17% felt it was mandatory, and 32% admitted that they did not believe it affected the outcome. Of the 13% of respondents who prescribed progestogens for threatened miscarriage, most did so on the advice of their local obstetrician. Seventeen per cent of the doctors always admitted women with apparently complete miscarriages to hospital. Twenty nine per cent of the respondents never gave anti-D immunoglobulin to rhesus negative women after a complete miscarriage. Bleeding in early pregnancy is a common problem and more research is required to improve management, particularly the assessment of fetal viability.