Why do we need this research?
Preterm prelabour rupture of membranes, known as PPROM, is when a pregnant woman’s waters break early before labour starts. PPROM often leads to premature birth, which can cause life-long health problems for the baby as their lungs aren’t fully developed.
Drugs called corticosteroids can be used to help the lungs to mature, but only if they are given within seven days of birth. However, it can be difficult for doctors to predict exactly when a baby will be born following PPROM, as they may not be born within a week.
We need to be able to predict the time of birth more accurately, so that we can treat PPROM better and reduce the chance of health problems for premature babies.
What’s happening in this project?
Scientists funded by Tommy’s are trying to find ways to help doctors predict when a baby will be born after PPROM. To do this, our researchers will be extracting anonymous information from the health records of mothers who experienced PPROM. Using this data, the team will develop a tool which will tell doctors the chances of a baby being born within the next week – the critical timeframe for giving corticosteroids. This will allow them to decide the best time to give corticosteroids to the mother to help their baby’s lungs mature in time for birth.
What difference will this project make?
The results from this project will help doctors to predict when a baby will be born after PPROM. This will help ensure that mothers get the right treatment at the right time, and help to reduce the risk of health complications for them and their baby
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Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.
A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.
The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.