Pregnant women benefit from rapid testing and remote monitoring

Placental Growth Factor-based testing assesses the risk of preeclampsia for pregnant women during COVID-19

Pregnant women need careful monitoring, but many face-to-face services have been impacted by Coronavirus

Pregnant women across Greater Manchester are benefiting from a quick, accurate blood test to spot pre-eclampsia, a condition which can lead to serious complications if not monitored and treated.

NHS trusts are using Placental Growth Factor (PlGF)-based testing, a blood test which can confirm or exclude pre-eclampsia and assess the risk for complications.

Pre-eclampsia affects around 3% of pregnant women, during the second half of pregnancy (from around 20 weeks) or soon after their baby is delivered.

Although most cases occur in the last few weeks of pregnancy and do not sustain serious complications, the condition can lead to severe complications for both mother and baby if it not monitored and treated.

The earlier pre-eclampsia is diagnosed and monitored, the better the outlook for mother and baby.

The new test offers clinical teams the ability to better manage risk, improve patient safety through faster and accurate diagnosis, and ensure the women and their unborn babies receive appropriate care.

We can ensure that those with pre-eclampsia, or who are at the highest risk of developing pre-eclampsia, are getting the care they need, when they need it

Faye, a patient at St Mary’s Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), had two pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia and clinicians were able to closely monitor her again during her recent pregnancy with regular ultrasound scans and blood pressure tests.

When the PlGF-based test placed her in an intermediate risk of pre-eclampsia, clinicians were able to increase her monitoring and ensure she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Faye said: “I was really grateful that extra monitoring and blood tests are now available. It’s really different to my first pregnancy.

“The blood tests in this pregnancy made a big difference, I was so worried given everything we’d been through before.”

Professor Jenny Myers, a consultant obstetrician at St Mary’s Hospital and professor of obstetrics and maternal medicine at The University of Manchester, said: “The Placental Growth Factor test enables us to make the right decisions for the women in our maternity care.

“We can ensure that those with pre-eclampsia, or who are at the highest risk of developing pre-eclampsia, are getting the care they need, when they need it.”

Health Innovation Manchester, the organisation responsible for accelerating the spread of proven innovation into Greater Manchester’s health and care system, has been supporting maternity units to adopt PlGF-based testing as part of a national initiative through the Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) Rapid Uptake Products (RUPs).

I was really grateful that extra monitoring and blood tests are now available. It’s really different to my first pregnancy

Amanda Risino, chief operating officer, said: “The PlGF-based testing is an example of better diagnostics leading to improvements in clinical care and system efficiencies.

“Health Innovation Manchester has been proud to work with our NHS trusts to improve the uptake of this proven innovation.”

Karen Connolly, chief executive of St Mary’s Hospital, said: “This is a fantastic example of our ‘One Manchester’ approach in action; with research and innovation pioneered here at MFT working seamlessly with HInM – which has the platform to accelerate this new rapid testing across our region, ensuring that more people can benefit, as quickly as possible.

“It further embodies our trust values of ‘working together’ and ‘dignity and care’, which guide the way we work every day to ensure our services are the very best they can be for our patients.”

Companies