In the past, there was a problem with the 'complication' of having brought forth a live, sometimes crying, baby.
The abortionist would either cut the umbilical cord while the baby was still in the uterus, thus depriving it of oxygen, smother it with the placenta, or, drown it in a bucket of water.
At about 16 weeks, ultrasound is used to pinpoint the location of the baby so that a long needle may be guided into its heart. The abortionist then injects potassium chloride, or some other fluid, which causes an immediate heart attack in the foetus.
After a period of days, the dead foetus is delivered naturally, or the process can be accelerated with cervical dilation followed by prostaglandin injections, or by hysterotomy.
Possible Complications Complications are similar to those seen with other abdominal surgeries and administration of anesthesia, such as:
- severe infection (sepsis)
- blood clots to the heart and brain (emboli)
- stomach contents breathed into the lungs (aspiration pneumonia)
- severe bleeding (hemorrhage)
- injury to the urinary tract
- blood clots in the uterus
- heavy bleeding
- pelvic infection
- retention of pieces of the placenta
- anesthesia-related complications.