MISCARRIAGES AND THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT: A PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS
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Miscarriages, pregnancy loss less than 20 weeks gestation, are the most common complication of early pregnancy. Women who are miscarrying generally access care in emergency departments (EDs) where treatment focuses on confirming the miscarriage. Pregnant women over 20 weeks gestation are eligible for obstetrical care that can prevent premature labor and provide supports if loss occurs. This interpretive phenomenology study examined the experiences of eight women who sought care for a miscarriage in the ED to answer the question: “What are the experiences of women coming to the ED for care while having a miscarriage?” Interviews were conducted. Data were analyzed. Five themes emerged: Pregnant/Life: Miscarriage/Death, Deciding to go to the ED: Something’s wrong, Not An Illness: A different kind of trauma, Acknowledgement throughout my visit, Leaving the ED: What now? The ED environment failed to acknowledge the experience, making miscarriage a marginalized event for women participating in this study.