Understanding Preeclampsia, Through Community Outreach, to Suggest Possible Interventions



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In recent decades, maternal mortality rates in the US have been consistently rising; these rates are currently higher than any other developed nation. Preeclampsia, a disorder of pregnancy involving hypertension, protein in urine, and water retention, affects about 18% of pregnancies worldwide. Some of the most important risk factors for Preeclampsia include chronic hypertension prior to or during the pregnancy, previous history of preeclampsia or family history of preeclampsia, multiple pregnancies, race, lack of prenatal care, and advanced maternal age. Preeclampsia/eclampsia result in 6.8% of maternal deaths in the United States. Considering there are about 700-900 maternal deaths per year, this means that every year about 48 – 61 women die due to preeclampsia. About 60% of preeclampsia deaths had a good to strong chance of being prevented. Stories were collected from women who were either currently or had recently been pregnant to get a perspective of the issue through the lenses of those that experienced it. Based on the DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) model that was made with the stories in mind, a two-pronged intervention was designed. One focuses on health professionals while the other prong would focus on the education of the general public.