Women’s Emergency Care

Providing direct clinical primary care for women presenting with acute obstetric and gynaecological problems and newborns with a range of neonatal conditions. The department is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Immediate assessment and intervention for women presenting with conditions relating specifically to Maternity and Women’s Health; for example, assessment of bleeding in early pregnancy, pelvic pain, breast conditions, emergency contraception and abnormal vaginal bleeding.

Specialities

  • Assessment and management of acute obstetric and emergency gynaecological problems
  • Assessment of neonates presenting with a range of medical issues, noting this is confined to neonates delivered at the Women's and re-presenting within two weeks of age with birth-related problems
  • Gynaecological care of women across a spectrum of age
  • Clinical support of sexual assault victim/survivors in collaboration with Centre Against Sexual Assault counsellor/advocates
  • An assessment centre for monitoring, assessing women in early labour and antenatal conditions
  • An Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS) to provide coordinated and specialised care of women experiencing pain or bleeding in early pregnancy

Clinical inclusion

  • Women with acute obstetric and emergency gynaecological problems 
  • Neonates delivered at the Women's and re-presenting within two weeks of age with birth-related problems and those who are up to 28 days old if the neonate has been in the Women’s Special Care Nursery or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Please note:

  • Women who present with issues not specifically related to obstetrics and gynaecology may be redirected to the Royal Melbourne Hospital Emergency Department for more appropriate treatment
  • Babies who were delivered elsewhere or who exceed two weeks of age may be redirected to the Royal Children’s Hospital Emergency Department

Frequency

The Women's Emergency Care department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week (with reduced staffing levels between midnight and 8am).

Triage

Please provide as much detail as possible on presenting complaint, pre referral management, outcomes, investigations and results.

Patients presenting to Women's Emergency Care will be seen by a nurse who will listen to the patient’s symptoms and may perform a brief examination in order to ascertain the nature and severity of the patient’s presentation. The nurse will then triage the patient as to their clinical need and organise for a medical review by a doctor. This may mean that patients may not be seen in order of arrival. In addition, all patients will see a clerk who will complete registration details for each patient.

Patients will be seen in cubicles within the department by doctors and a full assessment and examination will be carried out. Further treatment can be commenced in the emergency department and the patient may be discharged home or admitted to the hospital for ongoing management.

On discharge, patients receive instructions about their ongoing care including how results may be notified and when to see their local doctor. A referral may have been made for a patient to the relevant outpatient department and notification of this appointment will be sent to the patient by the Women's.

Referral

No referrals required to attend WEC.

Urgent referral

(Doctors only) Please call the WEC Doctor in Charge.


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