Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy

Volume 3 of the series Advances in Reproductive Health Care pp 83-89

Ethacridine (Rivanol®)—catheter technique in second trimester abortion

  • C. A. Ingemanson

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At present the mortality and morbidity is higher in mid-trimester than in first trimester abortion, and even if the mid-trimester abortions are few in many countries, there is a need to find safe and effective methods to interrupt a midtrimester pregnancy. Since the early 1960s the most frequently used method for second trimester abortion in Sweden has been the intra- or extra-amniotic instillation of 20% saline. A report by Bengtsson in 1967 of three deaths and a number of serious complications in 6161 saline abortions prompted investigation of other and safer methods. The saline method has gradually been abandoned, and is mainly used in the few pregnancies which are interrupted after the 20th week of gestation as the saline method causes fetal death which is not achieved with prostaglandins or ethacridine—catheter in most cases. Prostaglandins, or the ethacridine—catheter method, are nowadays the most commonly used ways to interrupt a mid-trimester pregnancy in Sweden.