A recent study done in the United Kingdom and published in an American Heart Association Journal, found a way to determine whether a woman will develop preeclampsia, which develops in up to eight percent of pregnancies. NY1's Erin Billups filed the following report.
Pregnancy was hard for Lauren Waters.
"I threw up the whole time. Nauseous the whole time, but I'd never been pregnant before so I thought, ‘Oh this is pregnancy. Pregnancy is hard,’” said Waters.
The pain reached a peak about two weeks before her due date.
"I called my doctor and she said to go to the hospital and I slept on it, which was really stupid. The next morning I went in and I had to have an emergency c-section because my liver had shut down,” Waters said.
Waters had the most severe form of preeclampsia known as HELLP Syndrome.
Preeclampsia develops in up to eight percent of pregnancies.
A team at Lenox Hill Hospital had to put her under, perform an emergency C-section and blood transfusion.
"Any other time period, I would have died,” she said.
What would have helped is if Waters had a way of knowing ahead of time that she was at risk.
Dr. Jennifer Wu helped with Waters' recovery and said there isn't a test available in the United States yet.
"We are only able to diagnose preeclampsia when a lot of the serious risks have occurred, when the blood pressure has already risen, when there’s already protein spilling in the urine, when the kidneys aren't working so well,” Dr. Wu said.
A recent study done in the United Kingdom and published in an American Heart Association Journal, found that by checking the placental protein levels, doctors may be able determine whether a woman will develop preeclampsia.
"It will help to predict which patients will develop preeclampsia in the next 14 days. If you have that preparation, oftentimes you can give the baby steroids which will help increase and speed lung maturity,” Dr. Wu said. “Also, if we know that patients are going to be delivering early, it's good to prepare the mom and have good surveillance to deliver the mom before she gets very sick."
Something Waters said she could have benefited from.
"I could have been a part of the experience. I could have seen him when he came out. Instead I saw him two or three days after I gave birth to him,” Waters said.
Despite the close call, Baby Luke is happy, healthy and growing.
Clinical studies for the test, from Alere, have been submitted to the FDA.