Cannula fracture in first trimester abortion: a case report and survey of NAF providers

Contraception. 2003 Jan;67(1):49-51. doi: 10.1016/s0010-7824(02)00443-2.


Complications in first trimester surgical abortions are uncommon. These include retained products of conception, infection, hemorrhage, perforation and hematometria. We report a case of a plastic cannula fracture. This event prompted further investigation of this issue and the factors that might increase the likelihood of its occurrence. We investigated whether the recycling of disposable cannulas may increase the frequency of cannula fracture. National Abortion Federation Members (NAF) were surveyed by mail. These providers were asked to comment anonymously on their experience with first trimester surgical abortions, resterilization of plastic cannulas and cannula fracture. The response rate was 71% after three mailings. The overall proportion of providers reporting previous cannula fractures was 9%. The rate of resterilization and reuse was 10%. Cannula resterilization did not significantly increase the likelihood of a fracture (p = 0.25). Cannula fracture is a rare complication of first trimester surgical abortion. Cannula fracture was not found to be associated with resterilization.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Adult
  • Catheterization / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Societies, Medical
  • Sterilization
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States