New Pre-eclampsia tool hoped to save lives

Published on: 15/05/2017

A new triage tool to predict whether those diagnosed with early-onset pre-eclampsia are safe to prolong pregnancy has been developed.

The PREP study, led by Queen Mary University and funded by the National Institute for Health Research, was published at the end of March. The study developed two prediction models, which have been found to accurately predict the risk of complications in 84% of women. 53 NHS trusts took part, with 946 women diagnosed with early-onset pre-eclampsia recruited. 18% of women experienced complications within 48 hours of diagnosis, and 67% experienced complications by the time of discharge from hospital after their babies were born.

Early onset pre-eclampsia is classed as diagnosis prior to 34 weeks, occurs is approximately 1% of pregnant women and is considered much more severe than later-onset pre-eclampsia.

The model used a number of characteristics to predict risk. These include mother’s age, gestation at diagnosis, blood pressure, urine protein level, liver and kidney function, oxygen levels in the blood, and the need for treatment in order to control blood pressure and potential seizures.

It is hoped that the tool can be used to help women understand this condition better and to help the medical professionals caring for them make better-informed decisions about their care.  Ultimately it is hoped that it will save the lives of both mothers and babies.

Read the research here

Or for more on this story see the RCM article here