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Welcome to the latest news from APEC!


Welcome again to all our friends and colleagues. The nights are indeed dark but we are heading into a bright future in terms of our exciting plans for 2020.

There will be some changes in the APEC team, as we say a sad goodbye to Carol, APEC's administrator, financial guru and all round good egg, who will be retiring at Christmas. Carol has worked tirelessly for the charity since 2015, mucking in wherever she has been needed and we can't thank her enough. Carol will be able to spend some well earned quality time with her family and we would all like to wish her well as she embarks on this new phase in her life. Thank you Carol for everything for have done for APEC.

We would like to thank all our supporters for your continued support.
Thank you to all who have joined our London marathon team for 2020. We may have a few places left, for the latest information:
Contact us
Free E-Learning course & downloadable resources for pregnant women & healthcare professionals
Visit APEC Professional area
APEC Study days 2020 - Dates for your diary
More information

RESEARCH 

Information from APEC about the implementation of the new tests for pre-eclampsia (PlGF)
 

“PlGF testing is a new test which can measure the likelihood of a pregnant woman getting pre-eclampsia in the next few days.  It can only be offered to women where there is a clinical recognition that this might happen and helps clinicians target care to the women who are likely to need it most. It is an effective test and APEC support the implementation of this.
APEC is working with NHS England to ensure all trusts are offering the test however take up is patchy and some hospital trusts are being slower than others in implementing it; by Christmas we expect around 50 Trusts to have adopted it.
Where the test is not available women should ask clinicians to push commissioners to implement the test.
We are not aware of private hospitals offering this service.”
 

WILL TRIAL UPDATE

When to Induce Labour to Limit risk
in pregnancy hypertension –
a multicentre, randomised controlled trial
 
High Blood pressure in pregnancy?  When is the best time to deliver?

The WILL trial is investigating when is the best time to deliver at term, for women with high blood pressure in pregnancy but without pre-eclampsia: 38+0 to 38+3 weeks or at least 40+0 weeks of pregnancy.

Currently, there is no good information on which to base this timing of delivery decision, so there is variation in clinical practice.

Eligible women who provide consent to take part in WILL are randomly assigned to planned delivery at 38+0-3 weeks or planned expectant care until at least 40+0 weeks. Data will be collected about the outcome of pregnancy, birth and initial postnatal period to assess if there are better outcomes for women and their babies in one of the timing of delivery groups than the other.

The WILL trial is currently in the initial pilot phase in 20 consultant-led maternity units in the UK, and more participating sites will open early next year to join the main phase of the trial. Eligible women will be invited to join the trial until the end of 2021, with an aim to have more than 1,000 pregnant women involved, to help us answer this important research question. To date, 32 women have agreed to participate.

If you would like more information or would like to get involved, please contact the WILL trial team at Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit by email (WILL@trials.bham.ac.uk) or telephone (0121 4159109) or visit the trial website (https://www.trials.bham.ac.uk/WILL).
 
Have you had high blood pressure (hypertension) in pregnancy? Would you be interested in joining a Public Patient Involvement (PPI) Working Group for WILL?
 
The aim of this group is to help us by: reviewing the trial materials and trial progress to date, assisting us in problem-solving about barriers to recruitment, and reviewing trial progress and plans for how to share information with women when the trial has been completed.

We are looking for more people to be involved, so please do get in touch by email (WILL@trials.bham.ac.uk) or telephone (0121 4159109).

EDUCATION 

APEC multidisciplinary study days on pre-eclampsia

Our study days are widely recognised as being excellent, with expert speakers who are leaders in the field of pre-eclampsia and associated conditions. 92% of midwives and healthcare professionals feel more confident dealing with pre-eclampsia after attending.

We already have most of 2020 booked in provisionally, but keep an eye on our website and newsletter for venues and up to date information. The latest info is here
Dates and Venues for the next few months
We are always looking for speakers for our study days. We would like to hear from clinicians across the board - consultants, research midwives, GP's - if you have a special interest in pre-eclampsia we would love to talk to you.

We are looking for speakers across the UK.

What is in it for you?
  • great for your CPD
  • recognition amongst practitioners
  • giving 'something back' to the medical community
  • travel expenses paid
  • certificate provided
  • example presentations and support if needed
  • opportunity to network 
Please email Rowan our Education Officer study@apec.org.uk or call us 01386 761848

VACANCY AT OUR EVESHAM HEAD OFFICE

 
We are recruiting for our Evesham head office for a part time Administration Officer starting from January.
Please get in touch with Marcus, our CEO to apply chief.executive@apec.org.uk

Supporting parents and families

EXPERIENCE:  "HELLP-ing to raise awareness"

 
Laura's terrifying experience of HELLP syndrome, an extreme form of pre-eclampsia, highlights the need to "trust your instincts when something doesn't feel right. "
 
"I was one of those people that essentially refused to make a birth plan. My only “ideal delivery” was a safe one for me and my daughter and I figured I could avoid disappointment if I didn’t get set on a particular plan! And I’m so thankful I took this approach! At 38 weeks pregnant, something just wasn’t right. I’d spent 2 days with excruciating back pain - and not the pressure of carrying extra weight. I just kept saying it was an “internal” pain and it was radiating through my shoulder blades. Gradually the pain was moving through my chest and I felt short of breath. I called triage at 11pm one night and they recommended I went to A&E, where they took my blood pressure, did an ECG; took bloods and reported back that everything was fine and it was up to me if I waited three hours to see a doctor 
 
I went with my instincts and said I would wait. 4 hours later they found nothing wrong with me and said I could go home. I refused to leave and they (reluctantly) sent me to triage for peace of mind. Triage ran a different kind of blood test which wasn’t offered in A&E! They also weren’t happy with my blood pressure so they then offered me a bed for the night (I say night - it was 5am at this point
At 1pm the next day I was told I had to stay in hospital another night as my blood work was “deranged” and they were concerned about my liver and kidneys. Honestly at this point I was relieved I wasn’t insane and something actually was up with me!
 
At 6pm, I was told I had HELLP syndrome and wasn’t leaving the hospital without a baby. I had no clue what this was and to this day, I am immensely grateful for that! What I found out later is that the pain I was experiencing was due to my placenta attacking the organs and my liver and kidneys were swollen.
 
I was immediately sent to delivery and treated with magnesium sulphate (awful stuff - I felt like everything, including my eye balls were on fire) and introduced to a number of different doctors, surgeons, anaesthetists, midwifes and my consultant. It was overwhelming to say the least. Suddenly it was real. There was talk of an induction but this swiftly changed to emergency section within the hour as I was told my platelets had dropped to 25 (they should be over 150), I was at risk of seizing and failing to clot and would likely need a platelet transfusion. I just remember being constantly told I was “very sick” and my mum and husband looking petrified! They said the only way to get me better was get rid of the placenta and deliver the baby.
 
At 10.39pm my beautiful girl - who was unbelievably unaffected by this whole ordeal - was delivered safe and sound.
 
My health deteriorated quite drastically over the next 48 hours and I was in and out of consciousness so I remember very little. I was also starved of food and water for 48 hours until they could get things under control and this was by far the hardest thing I went through. I believe your thirsty after having a baby anyway and I just wanted to drink a bucket of water but had nothing for two days! I was also shaking uncontrollably because my kidneys were failing and I just remember being scared to hold my baby. An ultrasound also detected a bleed on my liver!
 
The hospital staff were unreal though! Through everything they made me feel safe and it’s only retrospectively I understand the severity of the situation and how sick I was.
 
Remarkably I made a full recovery and my organs have no permanent damage. Most importantly, my little girl is absolutely fine!
 
I’d never even heard of HELLP Syndrome, but more alarmingly...neither has some doctors or nurses I’ve had to tell the story to since!  The only obvious symptoms are high blood pressure, swelling in the face, hands or feet, sudden weight gain and protein in the urine. I had none of these.
 
I’ve since had de-briefs on my birth with the hospital and even in my notes it says 2 different doctors said I could go home the night I went to A&E and the day after. Truthfully...I very nearly did. I felt like everyone thought I was being a drama queen and if it was just my health at risk, I may have felt embarrassed and headed back home. But I couldn’t take that risk for my daughter as she deserved better and thankfully I listened to my body."
 

"My advice to any woman carrying a baby is to listen to your own body, trust your instincts, be forceful if you have to and never feel bad for doing so!"

 
This excellent in depth book for parents and healthcare professionals is very readable and informative. 
We sell this in our APEC online shop for £14.99 (plus postage)
To order your copy please visit our shop https://action-on-pre-eclampsia.org.uk/shop/


Tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association) has a new name!
We are happy to share a statement from CEO Keith Reed:


"After more than 40 years as Tamba, changing the charity’s name was a big decision. The charity has achieved so many great things. Over the past few years the charity has grown significantly, achieving; the launch of the world’s first twin pregnancy growth charts, working with partners to improve practice during twin and triplet pregnancy and birth, saving 600 babies’ lives, national recognition for our TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome) specialist multiple birth register and successfully campaigning for our families to be exempt from the two child limit for Universal Credit and Child Tax Credit.

With the multiple birth rate still at an all-time high, we want to do even more to help and support our families. We  have set some new ambitious objectives that will save more lives, reduce expectant parent’s anxiety and help prevent parents from developing postnatal depression. We’re here for families every step of the way and hope to be the first port of call for information and support. We believe changing our name will help us to deliver these objectives. "

CRADLE VSA 'Traffic light' Blood Pressure Monitor being used all around the world.

 
We are delighted to tell you we have supplied many low income setting with the CRADLE VSA device. Since January we have sold 1201 to places such as Uganda, Mali, India, Dominican Republic, South Sudan and Haiti. These countries are eligible for a subsidised price. For more information on these devices please have a look at the APEC online shop here

Photos below show Sekong Provincial Hospital, Lao and Hoima district, Uganda

FUNDRAISING NEWS

London Marathon 2020

Got a ballot place?
If you were successful in the ballot and would like to join our team, we would be delighted to have you. You will receive a lovely running vest, fundraising pack and lots of support!

Golden Bond Charity Places*
We have Golden Bond places for the London Marathon, but only one or two remaining. Please do get in touch for the latest on this marathon@apec.org.uk 
 
 (*minimum fundraising amount applies.)

Do you use Ebay?

Did you know you can donate to APEC every time you buy something?

  • Make a donation to APEC during the checkout process when buying any item on eBay.
  • Browse for your preferred charities and select them as your favourites, then every time you pay for items on eBay you'll have the option to also make a donation to a favourite charity.

Supporting APEC makes a real difference.

Action on Pre-eclampsia aims to raise awareness, improve care and provide support to mums, families and health care professionals. We receive no statutory funding and are mainly supported by the kind donations and subscriptions from the public – people like you. There are lots of ways to support APEC, from requesting a fundraising pack, to running the London Marathon.

 

Thank you

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