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Pregnant women to be offered NHS test to detect pre-eclampsia

Pregnant women with suspected pre-eclampsia will now be offered a test on the NHS to detect the condition.

Pre-eclampsia affects some women, usually during the second half of pregnancy or soon after their baby is born.

It can lead to serious complications if it is not picked up during maternity appointments, with early signs including high blood pressure and protein in the urine.

In some cases, women can develop a severe headache, vision problems such as blurring or flashing, pain just below the ribs, swelling and vomiting.

Tests have been available to help rule out the condition but midwives will now use tests designed to pick up a positive diagnosis.

In new draft guidance, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said midwives could use one of four blood tests to help diagnose suspected preterm pre-eclampsia.

Jeanette Kusel, the acting director for medtech and digital at NICE, said: “These tests represent a step-change in the management and treatment of pre-eclampsia. New evidence presented to the committee shows that these tests can help successfully diagnose pre-eclampsia, alongside clinical information for decision-making, rather than just rule it out.

“This is extremely valuable to doctors and expectant mothers as now they can have increased confidence in their treatment plans and preparing for a safe birth.”

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Source: The Guardian, 25 March 2022


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