Despite being preventable, preeclampsia (hypertension in pregnancy) is one of the main causes of maternal death in Paraguay. Pregnant women infected with COVID-19 are more likely to develop preeclampsia or suffer a complication called eclampsia. The Juan Rassmuss Foundation (FJRE) carried out awareness-raising activities in public hospitals, and also inaugurated improvements in the first visit clinic for pregnant women at the Hospital de Fernando de la Mora.
So far in 2021, there have been 63 maternal deaths. Half of these deaths were associated with COVID-19 and many of them were caused by hypertensive conditions (preeclampsia/ eclampsia).
New scientific studies show an increased likelihood of pre-eclampsia or eclampsia when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with Covid19.
“The clinical pictures of COVID-19 and preeclampsia can overlap or be very similar,” refers Dr. Patricia Veiluva, Director of Health Programs (MSPBS).
Unlike in 2020, when there were still no cases of maternal deaths associated with Covid-19, since the beginning of 2021 these cases have been increasing. Veiluva points out that “a patient with Preeclampsia and Covid-19 is a very high-risk patient, requiring great care and should be hospitalized for further treatment”.
Preeclampsia is one of the most common serious complications in pregnancy. It is associated with elevated blood pressure and abnormal urine protein. It manifests after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the first weeks after delivery. In its early stages it is asymptomatic, detectable only by tests performed during prenatal consultations. It is therefore essential that pregnant women attend their prenatal consultations, taking all the necessary precautions.
MAY 22 WORLD DAY FOR THE PREVENTION OF PREECLAMPSIA
Worldwide, preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are one of the leading causes of maternal and neonatal illness and death according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
Every May 22nd, World Preeclampsia Day is commemorated in order to raise awareness about the complications of preeclampsia and alert to warning signs or symptoms, for which early and prompt consultation with a specialist is recommended, as soon as a woman learns that she is pregnant.
WARNING SIGNS OF PREECLAMPSIA
Swelling of the hands, feet or face
Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
Pain in the pit of the stomach
MAIN ACTIVITY OF THE FJRE FOR RECALL
Fernando De La Mora Hospital
On Thursday, May 20 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, a talk on Preeclampsia awareness was given to patients and hospital staff, accompanied by a healthy breakfast. The talk was given by Dr. Susan Contreras, medical advisor of the FJRE. This was followed by the inauguration of the improvements to the maternity clinic.
THE CHALLENGE OF PREVENTION
The Juan Rassmuss Echecopar Foundation seeks to improve maternal and perinatal outcomes with a focus on Preeclampsia and to this end has implemented a risk assessment system to optimise the prevention and early detection of the disease. The main focus of the FJRE’s Preeclampsia Challenge is to strengthen health professionals so that they can correctly evaluate all pregnant women at their first visit about the risk factors of Preeclampsia, and thus provide them with early diagnosis, indications and counseling, encouraging pregnant women to strictly attend their routine check-ups.
Another important aspect of the support work of the Rassmuss Foundation is the provision of medical equipment, supplies and medicines for the early detection of the disease, such as blood pressure measuring devices and test strips for the detection of protein in urine. Currently, the FJRE is collaborating with 5 partner hospitals and 21 Family Health Units in the Capital and Central areas. The hospitals with which the FJRE is currently working are Hospital Loma Pyta, Hospital de Clínicas, Hospital Barrio Obrero, Hospital Fernando de la Mora, Hospital de Lambaré and soon Hospital San Pablo.