A world-first blood test for pre-eclampsia is being introduced at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital.
Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy condition that if left undetected can be fatal for both mother and baby. Around one in 20 mums-to-be experience pre-eclampsia and it leads to dangerously high blood pressure for the mother. Pre-eclampsia can also involve kidneys, liver, brain and other organ systems.
The revolutionary blood test
Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital helped to develop the test that predicts if a pregnant woman will develop pre-eclampsia.
For mums with pre-eclampsia symptoms including high blood pressure, severe headaches or swelling, the test is 99 per cent accurate in predicting they won’t develop pre-eclampsia in the next week, and 95 per cent accurate they won’t develop the condition in the next four weeks.
Director of Pregnancy Research, Professor Shaun Brennecke said in a statement, “Currently, the only way to cure pre-eclampsia is to end the pregnancy by delivering the baby, even if the pregnancy is still many weeks from full term.”
According to Better Health, pre-eclampsia is the most common serious medical complication of pregnancy, affecting around five to 10 per cent of all pregnancies in Australia. Most women with pre-eclampsia feel fine, which is why regular antenatal check-ups are so important.
Please speak to your doctor if you have concerns.
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