As a mom that has had preeclampsia with all 3 of my pregnancies, nothing made me happier than when I saw the news today regarding A New Test Could Help Diagnose Preeclampsia Earlier and Save Lives.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with preeclampsia, it is a pregnancy related condition that affects a pregnant mother and unborn baby. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it is defined as:
“Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs only during pregnancy. Some symptoms of preeclampsia may include high blood pressure and protein in the urine, occurring after week 20 of pregnancy. Preeclampsia is often precluded by gestational hypertension.” (Source)
Preeclampsia affects 5% – 8% (about 1 in every 20 women) of all pregnancies and is a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death. While there were certain risk factors that could pre-determine the likelihood a woman could get it during pregnancy, there was no real way to test for it.
It has gone undiagnosed until a pregnant woman started exhibiting symptoms. Due to the danger of this condition, researchers have been working on a better way to diagnose for this condition sooner.
And now, thanks to a new test, preeclampsia may be able to be diagnosed sooner to help save lives.
Recently, a research study was published in the E-Clinical Medicine by The Lancent that was conducted with 346 consecutive pregnant women. The women were given a non-invasive, urine test using a Congo Red Dot (CRD) Paper Test. The CRD Paper Test results were compared to an expert adjudicated diagnosis in each case.
What they found was this was an overall reliable way to provide early detection for preeclampsia giving doctors a better chance of catching the condition early, and helping provide a safe and healthy pregnancy.
So now, researchers just need approval from the FDA to have this become a standardized test in the industry.
Let me tell you that something like this would have been a life changer. I didn’t find out I had preeclampsia until it was almost too late. My oldest son was born at 32 weeks and spent a month in the NICU. My middle child and my daughter (who was born this past November) were both born at 36 weeks all due to preeclampsia.
I spent time on bed rest, had medication to control my blood pressure, and had several tests weekly to ensure my symptoms weren’t getting worse. Overall, I had to be induced with each baby because of this awful pregnancy disease (yes, they call it a disease).
I am so excited to hear about this being taken to a more serious level as far as medical advancements go. I was lucky to have healthy children and to not lose my life while having them. I can only hope all women can experience the same.