Emily's Appeal | Action Medical Research

Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a leading cause of death and illness in both mothers and their babies worldwide.

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Emily pictured above with mum Tracy, was born six weeks early, weighing just 3lb 8oz, after doctors discovered that Tracy had developed pre-eclampsia.

This serious condition affects up to eight per cent of pregnant women worldwide and is a leading cause of death and illness in both mothers and their babies.

Research can put a stop to this and that’s why we’re asking for your support again today.

Action is funding vital research into pre-eclampsia to help change these shocking statistics. But for every project Action funds there’s another one we have to turn away – simply because of a lack of funds.

Can you support children like Emily with a gift to Action today?

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What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition occurring during the second half of pregnancy and causes the mother’s blood pressure to rise to dangerously high levels and can prove fatal to both mother and baby.

Not only can this be dangerous for the mother, it may also reduce blood flow to the placenta and cause the baby to be deprived of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in slow growth and small for gestational age babies.

Babies whose growth becomes dangerously slow during pregnancy are at risk of being stillborn – there are also longer-term consequences for their health.

After birth, these babies can suffer problems such as breathing difficulties, severe infections and necrotising enterocolitis . During childhood, they may develop further difficulties, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and poor vision.

In severe cases of pre-eclampsia, where the mother or the baby’s life is at risk, the only solution may be to deliver the baby early. Pre-eclampsia is therefore also a leading cause of preterm birth, with eight to ten per cent of all preterm births arising from problems with blood pressure during pregnancy. Unfortunately, babies who are born too soon are at risk of many short and long term health problems. 

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