Why Are American Women Dying in Childbirth?

Why Are American Women Dying in Childbirth?

You would be 10 times safer having a baby in Belarus than in the U.S.

The January issue of
Cosmopolitan magazine includes an article written by Preeclampsia Foundation Patient Advisory Council member Joy Victory. Now online, the article uses Joy's harrowing experience with preeclampsia during childbirth to spotlight maternal mortality in the U.S., and the work that the P reeclampsia Foundation and our partners like the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative are doing to support healthcare practice improvements for patients' physical AND emotional well-being.
The debate on Laboratory Developed Tests continues
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is nearing a decision on how to oversee and regulate the creation of new clinical and biomarker tests that are developed by clinical laboratories. Known as Laboratory Developed Tests or LDTs, these tests have become the subject of increased scrutiny as the majority of current LDTs used in practice are not overseen by the FDA unless a clinical laboratory asks for their review before making them available to physicians for use with patients.

These tests have become increasingly more complex and are used to address high-risk conditions, which has led the FDA to say increased scrutiny is required. Oftentimes, such tests are developed as a result of a physician's request for a new diagnostic to support patient needs. LDTs have been credited with establishing innovative new testing to address conditions like cancer and HIV/AIDS. Today they are used or being established for use in maternal health, such as preeclampsia screening and detection tests.
NICHD highlights preeclampsia in placenta project
The human placenta -- the organ that connects the pregnant mother and her baby -- is the focus of a major research program started in 2015 at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

From the NICHD: "In September, NIH invested $46 million in the Human Placenta Project, an initiative to address key unanswered questions about the placenta: How does a healthy placenta develop during pregnancy? What role does it play in a person's long-term health? What are the factors that lead to problems with placental development and function, and are they reversible?

Answering these and other questions will enable physicians to monitor pregnancies better and ultimately help prevent adverse outcomes like preeclampsia, premature birth, or stillbirth. The findings also may provide insight on why some people develop chronic diseases later in life, as some adverse pregnancy outcomes have been linked to a higher risk of future health problems -- for both mom and baby -- such as heart disease."

The Preeclampsia Foundation was an active participant in the workshops that developed this new research program, ensuring that preeclampsia remain a focal point for the resulting research investment required to answer these pivotal questions.
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