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Cervical shock: a complication of incomplete abortion
  1. Julian David Birch,
  2. Divyansh Gulati,
  3. Sachin Mandalia
  1. Emergency Department, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Julian David Birch, jdbirch{at}


A case of a 37-year-old female primagravida who attended the emergency department (ED) via ambulance in hypotensive shock. She was 10 weeks pregnant, but had an inevitable miscarriage confirmed in the local Early Pregnancy Unit 3 weeks previously. She was hypotension (90/60 mm Hg), bradycardic (45 bpm) and was peripherally shut down. A provisional diagnosis of haemorrhagic shock was made, but despite intravenous fluid challenges, she appeared to be deteriorating, so a major haemorrhage protocol was activated. On examination, there was some vaginal bleeding and a protruding sac noted. The gynaecology registrar was informed and performed an Evacuation of the Retained Products of Conception in the ED. This gave instant relief to the patient and her blood pressure and heart rate became normal over a few minutes. She went on to make a full recovery. This case provides useful learning points for doctors working in the ED and other urgent care settings.

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Pregnancy
  • Obstetrics And Gynaecology
  • Abortion

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  • Contributors JB and DG reviewed the patient in the department. SM was the supervising consultant. The manuscript was written by JB, and reviewed and edited by DG and SM. All authors have read and given their final approval to the submitted version of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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