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Welcome to April's news from APEC.

We are entering the busiest time of year in the APEC calendar, with May bringing National Pre-eclampsia Day, our annual Expert Meeting, a midwife study day in Liverpool and three multi-disciplinary conferences in Leeds, Ealing and Cardiff. We are of course delighted to be busier than ever and raising awareness of pre-eclampsia and the work we are doing.
Liverpool  multidisciplinary study day on pre-eclampsia 30th May
Buy tickets
Our 2019 team have had a  fantastic year.
Fancy a piece of the action? You can:
  • Enter the London Marathon Ballot for 2020 (closing date 3rd May so hurry!)
  • Or apply for one of our Golden Bond Places 
Enter ballot for a 2020 place
Apply for an APEC Golden Bond place
New Know the signs Leaflets now available for Trusts to purchase at £20 for 500, free postage 
Order leaflets for my trust

New Research

New blood test which screens for pre-eclampsia to be launched by the NHS in England.

Pregnant women in England will soon have access to a simple blood test which will screen them for the potentially life-threatening condition pre-eclampsia. This is thanks to a team of researchers at KCL who work closely with APEC.

Currently women who show symptoms of pre-eclampsia undergo a number of tests, including hospital admission, so clinicians can try to determine whether they are at risk of developing severe pre-eclampsia. For those who have moderate to severe pre-eclampsia, clinicians may also choose to deliver their baby preterm to reduce the risk of the mother developing life-threatening complications. As well as increased hospital interventions creating stress for pregnant women as they wait for results, premature delivery can also affect a baby’s quality of life.   

Prof Lucy Chappell and Dr Kate Dugih and team at KCL working on the PARROT trial found that the new PlGF (placental growth factor) blood test, speeds up diagnosis, and is particularly effective at determining which women are most at risk of developing the severest form of pre-eclampsia.

This means their condition can be better-managed and life-threatening complications to the mother and baby can be avoided. 

Furthermore, using PLGF alongside regular blood pressure and urine checks cut the average time to diagnosis from four days to around two.

More than 1,000 women at 11 UK maternity units took part in the trials during their second and third trimesters.

Pre-eclampsia affects tens of thousands of pregnancies each year, but can be managed if spotted early. Those at higher risk should be very closely monitored and may have to have their baby delivered early if the condition becomes too severe despite treatment.

The NHS announced they will make the test, which costs £70 to £80, more widely available across the country in light of the new results. PlGF testing will soon be more widely available as evidence suggests it speeds up diagnosis which could save lives. 

Lead researcher Prof Lucy Chappell,who works closely with APEC based at King's College London, said:

'This really is going to make a difference to women. The challenge for doctors is spotting which pregnancies are high risk and need closer monitoring. PLGF helps us reach that diagnosis earlier.'

The PARROT trial examined the levels of a protein made by the placenta called placenta growth factor (PlGF), which can be detected by a simple blood test.

Previous studies have shown that women with very low levels of PlGF are more likely to develop severe pre-eclampsia, or have a stillborn baby.

Women with normal PlGF levels are at low risk, and can return to normal antenatal care. This means that care is focused on the women that really need it, while those that don’t avoid long stays in hospital. 

Professor Tony Young, from NHS England, said:

'The NHS, with partners in government, will be making this test more widely available across the NHS as part of our plans to ensure as many patients as possible can benefit from world-class health innovations.'

While the test has been available for three years, only three NHS England hospitals have used it routinely. The NHS in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland could choose to offer the test too.

Awareness Project

Pre-eclampsia: Know the Signs! leaflets distributed UK wide

Thank you to everyone who got in touch last month, we sent out 25 packs of the brand new leaflets to trusts around the UK. This leaflet will be a game changer in raising the profile of pre-eclampsia, especially among first time mums and will be available in the FREE pregnancy pack Emma's Diary which is FREE for all pregnant women in the UK

It is designed to make everyone familiar with the symptoms and signs of pre-eclampsia and know exactly what the antenatal tests are for.

It also signposts our APEC advice and helpline and website, so information is clearly available.

The cost of this project has been met by our wonderful London Marathon runners, 2019. Thank you to all involved. By popular demand we have now made these available to purchase for UK hospitals at £20 for 500. Order from our APEC shop here


Our study days are now 'In House'  and we have plenty already in the pipeline.  Northampton, Liverpool, Hertfordshire and Newham (London) are all confirmed dates. Tickets are from £20 in most cases.
Please email for more information or click below to book your tickets.
Book tickets for Liverpool 30th May
Book tickets for Northampton 3rd July

Can APEC organise a study day at your place of work or study? Subsidies available for 2020 bookings 

"Thank you so much for your help and support with the study days. It has made a huge difference to our unit. I have seen such a change in the management of pre-eclampsia since I have been back at work. The study days seem to have had a very positive impact on our practice which is fantastic!”

 We received a grant from the Hospital Saturday Fund which is enabling us to subsidise study days in various areas in the UK. Please do contact us to find out if your hospital or university might qualify.                            .
Enquire about APEC holding a study day at your place of work or study

Fundraising News

Enormous thanks to our London Marathon Team 2019

Sarah Hutchings
April Watts
James Chaplin
Felicity Coad
Sophie Overfield
Askar Yesserkegenov
Wendy Carter
Ron Romano
Lisa Meech
Lucy Mella-Davis
Sasha Taylor
Jennifer Donato
Dan Smith
Lauren Crilley



Michael Da Costa
Karen Lamb
Michelle Cummins
Naima Rafferty
Charlie Salter
Melissa Jobson
Michael Shennan
Karina Arissa
Kevin Burns
Shelley Hall
Paul Minieri
Monica Quiroga
Lizz Marascuillo

So far the wonderful runners have raised £50,000 for our Pre-eclampsia Know the Signs! campaign.

View our runners' fundraising pages and make a donation
Read about running the Marathon for APEC

APEC Away Day

Staff and trustees met up for a really useful APEC away day earlier in April, with many ideas discussed on where the charity is moving. Lots of enthusiasm and smiling faces for an organisation we are all proud to be a part of.
"Great ideas are already bouncing around the
meeting room at @APEC_UK  away-day with staff
trustees. Here's to even better care for pregnant women & their babies."     Dr Carol Cooper
Happy to report an increase in study days and a move towards gaining CPD accreditation for our E-Learning course as well as a discussion of all the progress we have made in the UK, and where we need to focus our next steps. Thank you to all staff and trustees involved.

Expert Meeting 2019: Hypertension in Pregnancy

We are delighted Dr Dawn Harper, new APEC Patron will be speaking at our ninth annual Hypertension in Pregnancy meeting in 2019.

Research proposals, study feedback and recruitment for new studies will all feature highly, alongside personal stories of pre-eclampsia and hypertension care across the globe.

The day is aimed at Consultants, Research Midwives, Healthcare professionals with an interest in pre-eclampsia and stakeholders.

Please note this event is by invitation only.

PPI REPS needed - final call for volunteers

  • Have you or your partner suffered from pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy in the last 3 years?
  • Would you be prepared to join the PPI (Patient participation and Involvement Volunteer group for the WILL trial?) We need patient involvement at meetings as the trial progresses.
Thank you to everyone who has already  responded, this is a final call for volunteers.
If  you are interested, please contact Rowan at APEC  by Friday May 3rd. we will then ask you to choose some dates where you could  join a telecon and discuss the next steps for getting involved.

About the WILL trial:

In the UK every year, around 42,000 pregnant women develop high blood pressure before 37 weeks, leading to 12,000 women with serious problems, 25,000 emergency Caesarean sections and 240 stillbirths (when the baby dies before or during birth).

There is little information to guide doctors and women with high blood pressure when they decide on timing of delivery. At present, most of these women who reach 40 weeks (their due date) are offered induction (using hormones to start labour) or Caesarean section by choice.

The WILL trial is testing whether planned delivery at 38 weeks is better than monitoring women and babies until at least 40 weeks.
The WILL trial will run for 3 years in about 30 UK hospitals. 

The main aim of the WILL trial is to see if planned delivery at 38 weeks (compared with monitoring until at least 40 weeks) can reduce problems for mothers without causing problems for babies.
Copyright © 2019 Action on Pre-eclampsia, All rights reserved.

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