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New Pre-Eclampsia Test Could Lead to Earlier Diagnosis

Author: Neil fearn  Bullet  Dated: 09/09/2013

What is Pre-Eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects women in the second half of their pregnancy. It can lead to fatal consequences for the mother and unborn child if left untreated. Early warning signs of the condition are high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

New Research

At the moment, there is no way to predict which first-time mothers are at risk of developing pre-eclampsia. However, researchers at the University of Manchester and Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust have discovered proteins in the blood that may be able to indicate which women are at risk of the condition during their first pregnancy.

Dr Jenny Myers, from the Institute of Human Development at the University of Manchester, said that developing a test to screen first time mothers would allow them to identify women who are at risk of pre-eclampsia. It would also allow doctors and midwives to use preventative treatments such as "low dose aspirin" and allow more monitoring of women who were high risk.

The only way to cure it is to deliver the baby early however, premature births can carry their own risks.

Your doctor or midwife should arrange regular check-ups with you to try and control the symptoms of pre-eclampsia. They will try and avoid a premature birth, but if it is within yours and your baby's best interests, they may advise it.

How will pre-eclampsia affect my baby?

Pre-eclampsia can stop your baby from receiving vital oxygen through the placenta.

Without enough oxygen getting to your baby this could result in less food reaching them. If this happens your baby could be born with a low birth weight that could lead to numerous future complications.

If your baby is born with a low birth weight they may have the following problems:

  • Inability to retain body temperature
  • Difficulty feeding and gaining weight
  • Bleeding inside the brain
  • Breathing problems caused by immature lungs
  • Gastrointestinal problems

How can a Solicitor help if your condition was missed?

Pre-eclampsia is usually picked up in routine antenatal checks done by your doctor or midwife. It is their responsibility to take care of you whilst you are pregnant and ensure that your baby is delivered in the safest possible way.

If they have failed to diagnose or treat yourpre-eclampsia then you may be able to claim for medical negligence. In particular, if their failure to treat you has led to your child being born with a birth defect such as cerebral palsy you may be able to make a claim.

A solicitor will be able to talk to you about your legal rights and what your options are in terms of making a claim.

They can guide you through the claims process to ensure that any compensation at the end will be there for the benefit of you and your child. A compensation award won for you by an experienced solicitor will be able to make sure that options are there for you and your new born.

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