NHS teams improve care for new and expectant mothers

Medical teams at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have developed a new service - the first of its kind in the North West - to aid in the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy,
NHS teams have been improving care for new and expectant mothersNHS teams have been improving care for new and expectant mothers
NHS teams have been improving care for new and expectant mothers

Shonagh Haslam (principal clinical biochemist), Fatimah Soydemir (consultant obstetrician), Tim Mcilwaine (lead biomedical scientist) and Emma Gornall (delivery suite ward manager) all played a key part, taking advantage of the advanced analytical technology available at the Preston Clinical Biochemistry Hub and the combined clinical and scientific skills between the clinical biochemistry and obstetrics departments.

Innovative blood tests will take place for all pregnant women suspected of having pre-eclampsia. The test requires a blood sample which is analysed for pre-eclampsia markers. The use of these tests means that pre-eclampsia can now be diagnosed quicker, earlier and with more accuracy. Additionally, they are being used to assess a woman’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia and to improve outcomes for both mother and baby.

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Dr Martin Myers, consultant clinical biochemist and laboratory director of the Clinical Biochemistry Services in Central Lancashire, said: “Lancashire Teaching Hospitals are one of only three hospitals nationally, and the only one in the region, who offer this type of service. This new service will identify at risk women earlier and will avoid unnecessary admission of women who are not at risk of pre-eclampsia.”

Pre-eclampsia is potentially life threatening for both mother and baby, and pregnant women with pre-eclampsia need close maternal and foetal monitoring.

In the past, diagnosis of pre-eclampsia has been based on a variety of clinical and biochemical tests but there has been no single, objective laboratory test available.

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