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Mortality Rates in Pregnant Women with Sickle Cell Slashed

January 2, 2017 by Andrea


Happy New Year! We're only two days in to 2017, and already, there's been an amazing new advancement in the care of patients with sickle cell. Namely, pregnant patients with sickle cell.

Of course, sickle cell warriors who are with child can face serious complications stemming from pulmonary hypertension and renal disease, among other things, but what's been even more worrisome is the death rate of these women during childbirth. In the West African country of Ghana, the maternal mortality rate has been 12 times higher than that of pregnant women without SCD. (The stats in the U.S. aren't too much better at 10 times higher.) But recently, a new hope has pushed through.

A research team at Ghana's Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital has found a way to slash that mortality rate by 90 percent.

Here's how: Each pregnant woman with sickle cell is now given a designated care team comprised of nurses, obstetricians, and blood and lung specialists, reports The New York Times. Additionally, doctors have put into place new practices, such as pre-cesarean blood transfusions and deep breathing exercises to combat chest pain and prevent lung collapse.

We couldn't think of a better bit of news to kick off this new year right.

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