In a significant step towards the improvement of maternal healthcare, the US task force has suggested measuring high blood pressure in expectant mothers. The directive comes after determining how fatal hypertension can be to the newborn and the mother while giving birth. Later this year an independent news outlet also published that ⅓ rd of maternal mortality was burgeoned due to preeclampsia. What makes it fatal is its ability to attack all organs at the same time and therefore put lives in jeopardy. Preeclampsia often has no symptoms and can be a sudden development that is often difficult to be brought under control.
The US Preventive Task Force includes a group of individual caregivers specializing in gynecology and OB. Though the current guidelines advocate the measurement of blood pressure in pregnant women, the new guidelines stipulate the monitoring to be accurate and impactful. This means your doctor could be taking your blood pressure more than they have before. The task force also came with multiple recommendations such as
1. Compulsory blood screenings in the first visit- This is to get ahead of any complications that may arise. This can also differentiate the ones who are prone to hypertension from the ones who have manageable conditions.
2. Different thresholds for pregnant ladies– The force observed that pregnant ladies have a lower threshold when it comes to blood pressure as compared to those who are not pregnant. Therefore, it will help the health care worker note down a spike in the later timings.
3. Regular monitoring– Healthcare workers should consider hypertension as a possible risk and pay close attention to their patients.
4. Educating the patients– Providing the mothers with a checklist of red flags to look out for will help them identify the problem before escalation.
5. Data Collection– Since the data on the same is ever evolving, the study suggests the panel of doctors keep providing them with data so that they can make modifications to their numbers.
6. A collaborative effort– According to the panel, hypertension can only be brought under control with interdisciplinary care including the doctors, primary health givers, nurses, and the primary caregiver of the patient.
7. Care after birth– The idea behind this is to consider the volatile nature of blood pressure that cannot be detected without observation and continuous follow-up even after giving birth.
The task force opines that the guidelines can streamline the process for multiple stakeholders including the health care system as a whole. While pregnant ladies can expect premium health care when it comes to high blood pressure-related complications, healthcare providers are granted pointers to look out for before a fatality occurs. The policy can be beneficial in the long run for families to not incur undetermined financial burden on the families and insurance providers who often fail to identify the payable and non-payable costs.
When asked their thoughts on the recommendations, the healthcare workers responded by welcoming the initiative. Most of them reiterated the fact that their colored patients often undergo complications arising from the increased pressure levels. They also believe that this change will hold the patients to the highest standard of health care. As per data collected by the U.S. Disease Prevention and Control over 14 percent of black and native American women had a risk posed to their health arising from preeclampsia. The cause of this is however unclear and is often pointed out to be genetics, social or environmental factors. If the doctors adhere to the list, they could prevent a lot of deaths during birth by providing specialized care for risk groups.
While the decision on its implementation continues to be a question mark, most hospitals have already instructed their OB-GYN to evaluate the numbers with precision. Most importantly they have also started giving out guidelines to expectant mothers about the need for healthy eating and exercise which can control it to a large extent.
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