World-first blood test can detect pre-eclampsia in mums-to-be

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.

Close-up Of Pregnant African American Woman Having Bloods Taken

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.

Pregnant woman having her blood pressure checked by the doctor

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.

Here are 6 complications that can pop up in pregnancy and when you should call your healthcare provider.

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