A leading Obstetrics Professor warned delegates at Primary Care that women at risk of pre-eclampsia are being given sub standard care and argued that several recent deaths could have been prevented.

Professor Andrew Shennan, Profesor of Obstetrics at King's College, London told the hall that a blood pressure reading of over 100 in a pregnant woman should be treated as a medical emergency and that these women should be referred to A&E for emergency monitoring.

He explained that midwives should be especially vigilant towards women with a history of chronic hypertension as 1 in 5 of these will go on to develop pre-eclampsia.

He also advised midwives that they shouldn't delay referring pregnant women for specialist care if they suspect they are showing early signs of pre-eclampsia. Currently women tend to be watched carefully in the latter stages of pregnancy but Professor Shennan said showing signs at less than 34 weeks should also be flagged up.

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Posted by 24/05/2012 by penny.hosie@pavpub.com