The current UK guidelines available for treating an ectopic pregnancy are as follows:
- The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Clinical Guideline for Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage (NG126)
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Guideline: Diagnosis and Management of Ectopic Pregnancy (Green-Top 21)
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Guideline: Laparoscopic Management of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy (Consent Advice 8)
- The Association of Early Pregnancy Units provides support and resources to help patient choice and maintain standards in early pregnancy care.
- UK Consensus Guidelines on the communication of unexpected news via ultrasound.
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust’s gold-standard for care, based on the evidence that early diagnosis improves treatment choice and reduces the emotional trauma associated with the condition, is as follows:
- Any woman of childbearing age who has ectopic pregnancy symptoms should be considered to be pregnant until proven otherwise.
- She should receive an ultrasound scan (transvaginal where required) within 24 hours and follow up with beta hCG blood tests 48 hours apart if the scan is inconclusive.
- If an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, wherever possible, a women should be given a choice of all of the treatments that are available to treat her ectopic pregnancy, taking into consideration her medical condition. This should be accompanied by relevant, understandable information so that she is able to make an informed choice.
- A follow up appointment should take place with the patient two to three weeks after the ectopic pregnancy has resolved. At this appointment, information on how to access support services such as those of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust should be supplied if information hasn’t already been supplied at the point of diagnosis.
The current UK guidelines available for dealing with foetal remains are as follows:
- The Royal College of Nurses (RCN): Sensitive Disposal of all Fetal Remains; Guidance for Nurses and Midwives
- The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Guideline: Disposal Following Pregnancy Loss before 24 Weeks of Gestation (Good Practice No 5)
- The Human Tissue Authority: Code of Practice No 5, Disposal Following Pregnancy Loss
- NHS Scotland: Guidance on the Disposal of Pregnancy Losses Up To and including 23 weeks and 6 days gestation