Ectopic Pregnancy is a common condition which affects one in eighty pregnancies in the UK. It occurs when the embryo grows outside the womb and, if not treated, can be life threatening.
There are at least 11,000 emergency admissions for the condition annually in England, and from anecdotal evidence, it is believed the number of cases of ectopic pregnancy may number more than 30,000 per year in the UK alone. There are on average five deaths per year and it is the leading cause of maternal death in the first trimester of pregnancy (Source: Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Death 2007). The number of ectopic pregnancies and deaths has not fallen in the past 20 years – in fact the incidence is rising. Several treatments are available, depending on each woman’s individual circumstances, although the pregnancy can never be saved. The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust believes that the deaths and trauma associated with ectopic pregnancy should be prevented and seeks to both relieve the distress associated with it and provide ongoing support.
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust strives to provide information, education and support to those affected by early pregnancy complications and to the health professionals who care for them.
In particular, the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust aims to:
- raise awareness of the condition the medical profession and general public;
- promote Best Practice;
- provide information about the treatment and condition;
- provide information and support for members of the public and healthcare providers;
- encourage research and disseminate findings.
The Trust’s website provides information about the diagnosis, treatment and after-care of the condition written by medical/nursing advisors to the Trust. The Trust produces a suite of patient-orientated literature designed to help those affected by the condition with detailed information about their particular treatment and the condition in general. Our literature is widely used throughout hospitals in the UK to ensure that patients are supported and informed. Information designed by the Trust is recommended by health information gateways as a source of good quality health information including among others NHS Choices.
The Trust regularly provides medical information to local and national newspapers and leading women’s magazines on the subject of ectopic pregnancy. TV Programmes such as This Morning, BBC Health Watchdog, and Coronation Street consult The Trust when including ectopic pregnancy in their schedules and story lines. The Trust’s patrons, volunteers, trustees and staff also participate in television and radio interviews.
In 2002 and 2003 the website was nominated for an E-Commerce award. It was short listed for an E-Wellbeing award in 2007 and won in its category.
Highly successful conferences, seminars and study days for health professionals are delivered both independently and in collaboration with other professional bodies, which have included The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, The Royal College of Nursing and The Association Of Early Pregnancy Units. Collaborative information and support days both for health care teams and families affected by the condition to share experiences and consider ways in which services can be more patient-led, are another feature of the education programme we seek to deliver.
In 2009, the Trust hosted its first annual conference on The Management of Early Pregnancy Complications. The purpose of the conference was to facilitate better learning opportunities and knowledge sharing. The event was so successful that a second event was scheduled for October 2009 and again for 2010. The EPT is now proud to deliver a standing conference on the Management of Early Pregnancy Complications for professionals on an annual basis.
With no similar opportunities currently being offered by the NHS or elsewhere, the Trust is in a unique position to make a real difference to women’s lives in the future by facilitating educational opportunities for all those involved in identifying and managing the condition of ectopic pregnancy.
Qualified staff and trained volunteers, respond annually to over 10,000 requests for support and information via telephone, email and post both from those whose lives are or have been touched by ectopic pregnancy and from the professionals who care for them.
The website receives over 60,000 visits per month. It has links to the medically overseen and moderated suite of busy message forums, allowing anyone who suspects they are having, or have had an ectopic pregnancy, instant, easy unrestricted access to information about the condition. The forums also provide for those preparing for pregnancy, those who are pregnant after ectopic pregnancy, those taking alternative routes to motherhood and a forum exclusively for men, among others. These services have in some instances saved lives.
Trained volunteers can also offer one to one support through a mentoring scheme.