Information for women experiencing problems in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.
What is the Saint James Hospital Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit?
This new service is unique to the island as it offers specialist delivered patient centred care on a 24/7 basis. The unit has been set-up in accordance with international standards offering the most up to date patient care.
The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) is a service accessible to any woman less than 14 weeks pregnant with symptoms which she finds concerning. Such symptoms may include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shoulder tip pain
- Previous history of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
Location and opening times
The Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit is located at Saint James Capua Hospital, Sliema.
This is an on-call service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After hour calls are also taken via our contact centre.
Who can access it?
Anyone with a positive pregnancy test of less than 14 weeks can access the service. Before attending the early pregnancy assessment unit, patients are first medically assessed in our emergency area, called the IMCU.
What happens in the EPAU?
In the EPAU, you will be seen by one of our specialist obstetricians. You are welcome to bring someone with you. The consultation normally consists of a discussion surrounding the pregnancy and an ultrasound scan. This will be either an abdominal ultrasound, when the scan probe is moved over your tummy, and/or a vaginal ultrasound, where an internal probe is placed just inside the vagina, to give us a clearer picture of what is happening in your womb.
You may also need to have blood test or an internal examination. The specialist doctor will explain this to you if it is needed.
During your visit you will be informed of the pregnancy outcome and given advice accordingly. Depending on the outcome, management would be offered in accordance with current guidelines.
We do appreciate that this can be an extremely anxious time, and hence also have a psychologist available to provide additional support.
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