Introduction and objective:
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is associated with risks to the health and life of the woman and/or the foetus. Moreover, it is usually unanticipated, which requires on-site care to be provided to the woman. Such care is handled by emergency medical services (EMS) teams until specialist obstetric care can be provided. The purpose of study was to analyze the characteristics of EMS team responses to calls regarding pregnant women with vaginal bleeding, considering the location of call: urban vs. rural area.

Material and methods:
The study was based on a retrospective analysis of 5,487 EMS team interventions due to vaginal bleeding in pregnant women in Poland. The data analyzed included the period January 2018-December 2019, obtained from the National Monitoring Centre of Emergency Medical Services.

The teams were more commonly dispatched to pregnant women in rural areas, who were more likely to be older and in the course of a second (27.52% vs. 26.88%) or subsequent pregnancy (34.00% vs. 27.49%), to have had one (28.22% vs. 26.75%) or more previous births (28.87% vs. 22.87%), and to have antepartum bleeding (23.91% vs. 20.36%) than those from urban areas. The mean time between receipt of the call and patient hand-over at the hospital by the EMS team was longer in rural areas (50.00 vs. 37.23 minutes).

EMS teams responding to calls from rural areas regarding pregnant women with vaginal bleeding were most commonly dispatched in the summer, and the mean time between the receipt of the call and patient hand-over at the hospital was longer than in the calls from urban areas. Compared to patients calling from urban areas, those from rural areas were also more likely to be pregnant for the second or subsequent time, to have antepartum bleeding, and to have given birth before.

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