It was on our local news last night. There is now an accepted, available in North America (if not world wide) simple algorithm for testing the risk of continuing a pregnancy for a woman with preeclampsia.
For those who know, the previous and only method to determine the 'deliver now!' urgency was a high level of protein in the urine and high blood pressure. Not anymore. There is now the Piers method. This considers the two above features, but adds a series of results from a blood test for a much more accurate determination of when delivery is imminent. And for those who count the weeks/days/hours, we know that every minute can count for the survival of the baby.
Why am I so excited? Nope, not pregnant (wish I was) but I had pre-e. For those who've followed the blog for a while, you'll know that I went in for a regular NST and wasn't allowed to leave. I was given the steroid shot and told to expect delivery in the next 24-48 hours. The boys were under 32 weeks. They then started searching for a hospital with room in the nicu for early twins, first in the city, then the province, eventually expanding to just south of the border.
BUT my OBGyn came to the rescue. He had recently been to a talk on the then unpublished Piers method and felt I was a good candidate. So I got to relax, well not really. Each morning, they drew my blood quite early. I knew that if I got breakfast, I was safe for another day. The interns and doctors on rotation were all doom and gloom "you will deliver tomorrow", based on the high levels of protein in my urine. But my Dr kept telling them no. And he was right. I made it to my scheduled C-section date (35w1d because of placenta previa). He admitted he didn't think I'd make it that far, but the levels of whatever they tested in my blood didn't change at all during this time. The boys got to bake another 3 weeks inside me.
This was 19 months ago. I suspect I might be a case study in the published medical papers on the method. I'm certainly a poster child for using this method instead of just the protein and blood pressure check. I know my boys had a better shot at life because of it. Not everyone who has pre-e will get extra time because of this method though. My roomie who was in for a shortened cervix, with regular BP had a spike in hers, with sudden protein in urine. She had a blood test the next morning and the nurse came in to yank her breakfast just as it was being served. Her blood work showed that it was time. But since she was 35w2d, it wasn't as frightful as it could have been (and her twins were born on my birthday).
Hopefully this method will allow some babies to go from micro-premies to premies to maybe even full term that might otherwise not have been allowed to go that long. What a great piece of news this close to Christmas.