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A same-day blood test that can rule out preeclampsia in pregnant women is being rolled out across the National Health Service (NHS) in England.
The NHS is a publicly funded health care system and 1 of 4 in the United Kingdom.
Preeclampsia is dangerous for both mother and baby and can often lead to preterm birth and even increase the risk of stroke later in life in women with a history of preeclampsia.
The test—placental growth factor (PLGF) testing—is the first of its kind to exclude the life-threatening condition and is being used in 75% of the maternity wards in England. According to an article from Independent, 65,000 expectant mothers are admitted to the hospital for up to 3 days to be monitored each year. The blood test can be used, according to research, to indicate who needs admission and intensive monitoring, and who can be discharged.
Normal test results mean that preeclampsia is not developing over the next 1-2 weeks, and the mother can safely resume her routine antenatal surveillance.
This test, and further research on its effectiveness, may shed light on ways U.S. health care systems can better aid women with high blood pressure and/or preeclampsia.