Association of facility type with procedural-related morbidities and adverse events among patients undergoing induced abortions

Sarah C.M. Roberts, Ushma D. Upadhyay, Guodong Liu, Jennifer L. Kerns, Djibril Ba, Nancy Beam, Douglas L. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE Multiple states have laws requiring abortion facilities to meet ambulatory surgery center (ASC) standards. There is limited evidence regarding abortion-related morbidities and adverse events following abortions performed at ASCs vs office-based settings. OBJECTIVE To compare abortion-related morbidities and adverse events at ASCs vs office-based settings. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS Retrospective cohort study ofwomen with US private health insurance who underwent induced abortions in an ASC or office-based setting (January 1, 2011-December 31, 2014). Outcomes were abstracted from a large national private insurance claims database during the 6 weeks following the abortion (date of final follow-up, February 11, 2015). EXPOSURES Facility type for abortion (ASCs vs office-based settings, including facilities such as abortion clinics, nonspecialized clinics, and physician offices). MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The primary outcomewas any abortion-related morbidity or adverse event (such as retained products of conception, abortion-related infection, hemorrhage, and uterine perforation) within 6 weeks after an abortion. Two secondary outcomes, both subsets of the primary outcome, were major abortion-related morbidities and adverse events (such as hemorrhages treated with a transfusion, missed ectopic pregnancies treated with surgery, and abortion-related infections that resulted in an overnight hospital admission) and abortion-related infections. RESULTS Among 49 287 women (mean age, 28 years [SD, 7.3]) who had 50 311 induced abortions, (23 891 [47%] first-trimester aspiration, 13 480 [27%] first-trimester medication, and 12 940 [26%] second trimester or later), 5660 abortions (11%) were performed in ASCs and 44 651 (89%) in office-based settings. Overall, 3.33%had an abortion-related morbidity or adverse event; 0.32%had a major abortion-related morbidity or adverse event; and 0.74% had an abortion-related infection. In adjusted analyses, there was no statistically significant difference between ASCs vs office-based settings, respectively, in the rates of abortion-related morbidities or adverse events (3.25%vs 3.33%, difference, -0.8%; 95%CI, -0.58%to 0.43%; adjusted OR, 0.97; 95%CI, 0.81-1.17), major morbidities or adverse events (0.26%vs 0.33%; difference, -0.06%; 95%CI, -0.18%to 0.06%; adjusted OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.45-1.37), or infections (0.58%vs 0.77%; difference, -0.16%; 95%CI, -0.35%to 0.03%; adjusted OR, 0.75; 95%CI, 0.52-1.09). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Among women with private health insurance who had an induced abortion, performance of the abortion in an ambulatory surgical center compared with an office-based setting was not associated with a significant difference in abortion-related morbidities and adverse events. These findings, in addition to individual patient and individual facility factors, may inform decisions about the type of facility in which induced abortions are performed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2497-2506
Number of pages10
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 26 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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