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National Pre-Eclampsia Awareness Day 2014


Viewing a newborn in the neonatal unit were (L to R): Diarmuid Cahalane (Metabolomic Diagnostics), Sean Sherlock, TD, Eleni Tsigas (Preeclampsia Foundation), Dr. Sam Coulter-Smith

A new national awareness day for pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal condition affecting pregnant women and their babies, was announced on Thursday 2nd July 2014, by a collaboration of industry, research, government and charitable bodies.

 Pre-eclampsia impacts almost one tenth of pregnancies.  The condition can often go unnoticed, and the risk of acute problems for both mother and baby can be very serious and indeed life threatening.  Typically diagnosed by increased blood pressure or protein in urine, pre-eclampsia can strike quickly so awareness is key to limiting serious health consequences through early medical intervention.  


Pictured L-R: Judy McAffrey (Agilent Technologies), Diarmuid Cahalane, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, Sean Sherlock, TD, Eleni Tsigas, Jordan Tsigas, Professor Fergal Malone

Eleni Tsigas, a pre-eclampsia survivor and executive director of the Pre-eclampsia Foundation in the USA met with government and industry parties to highlight the need for greater awareness of the condition in Ireland.  There is currently no representative body or organisation in Ireland that acts as a voice for pre-eclampsia awareness, support and information or pre-eclampsia survivors.

 “Making people in Ireland aware of the warning signs for pre-eclampsia will save lives”, she said at the launch of the National Pre-eclampsia Awareness Day today.   “I am delighted to be working with the Irish government and industry here, particularly the INFANT Research Centre and Metabolomic Diagnostics, to help raise symptom awareness and encourage more people, male and female, carers and friends, to recognise this potentially fatal illness”. 

 The Rotunda Hospital was delighted to support and help to launch Ireland’s first Pre-eclampsia Awareness Day.  On-going research is being carried out at the Rotunda into predicting at an early stage signs of this condition and possible treatments.  

“Women with the condition often require admission to hospital in the antenatal period.  Some will require early delivery of the baby who will subsequently need specialist care in the Neonatal Unit for a number of weeks.  Our vision is that this research will translate into improved clinical care for this high risk group of women and their babies,” said John O’Loughlin, Laboratory Manager, Rotunda Hospital.

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