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Low-Tech Procedure Works for Second-Trimester Abortions

Study found manual vacuum aspiration as good as electrical version

FRIDAY, Oct. 3, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A low-tech, hand-held vacuum aspiration device works as well as a more expensive electrical unit for ending second-trimester pregnancies, say researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.

They compared the two devices while performing second-trimester abortions on 110 women with an average gestation of 16 weeks. Manual vacuum aspiration was used on 73 women and electric vacuum aspiration on 37 women.

The study found no significant differences in procedure time between the two groups of women. There were no reported complications.

Manual vacuum aspiration is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for first-trimester abortions, but had not been tested for second-trimester abortions.

"Now that we know the low-tech device is safe and effective, it can be taught to doctors in developing nations to help reduce the prevalence of unsafe abortions and complications," senior author Dr. Paul. D. Blumenthal, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics, says in a news release.

The electrical aspiration devices and the power required to operate them are often not available in developing countries.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about abortion.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, news release, Sept. 30, 2003
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