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Local MP Patricia Gibson last Thursday led Westminster’s first ever debate on pre-eclampsia, a condition related to high blood pressure during pregnancy which kills 100 otherwise healthy babies a year in Scotland.
Mrs Gibson, who lost her own son Kenneth in 2009 after hospital staff failed to spot she had pre-eclampsia, said: ‘Infant mortality has fallen steeply over generations, but there are still an unacceptable number of stillbirths and babies born prematurely because of this condition.
‘It is a complex illness and it’s difficult to predict who will develop pre-eclampsia or what causes it. Because symptoms and signs are not reliable or consistent, women may be admitted to hospital unnecessarily or go undiagnosed. I, like too many other women, know how tragic that can be.
‘Being aware of, looking for and dealing with pre-eclampsia must be on the radar of all health professionals dealing with expectant mothers. Recognition and early intervention are vital, and when signs are present, it is important they are not missed.
‘A new blood test (PIFG) indicates whether an expectant mother has pre-eclampsia, needs to be admitted to hospital and deliver soon or can safely stay home.
‘I am working to ensure PIFG is available in Ayrshire and across Scotland. It will save lives, NHS resources and offer expectant parents great reassurance about their baby’s health.’
Arran MP Patricia Gibson is seeking to secure a new blood test for patients which will help spot signs of pre-eclampsia, a cause of infant mortality. No_B20baby01