Much of my professional life and many years of clinical research have focused upon the care of pregnant women with one of the “preeclampsias”. It is no surprise then that a major presidential initiative for ACOG this year has been a focus on this major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States. Early in 2011 a Hypertension in Pregnancy (HIP) Work Group was constituted from 16 carefully chosen experts, first meeting last July in Washington. Their task: review what is known about the preeclampsias and translate this information into guidance for best practice management for affected patients—give us order sets, practice guidelines and checklists to organize our thinking and standardize our practice.
The HIP Work Group’s second meeting happened this past week and a third meeting is projected to occur in March—my hope is to see the process concluded in 2012 and the results disseminated to our membership and to the world’s OBGYNs.
A new addition to the HIP Work Group is the executive director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, Eleni Tsigas, who is there to contribute data and advice from the patient’s perspective. One way to improve patient education and awareness of preeclampsia as an important pregnancy complication is to raise greater national awareness through every channel possible. ACOG and the Preeclampsia Foundation need to secure by the end of this month 2,500 signatures to an online petition in support of designating May as “Preeclampsia Awareness Month” on the National Health Observances Calendar. This national proclamation will help both organizations to further expand awareness, distribute educational information and enhance both patient and provider literacy about preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
If you are willing to help us, go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/preeclampsiaawarenessmonth/ and take a few seconds to add your name to this worthwhile petition. Thank you for helping us make this happen.