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STATEMENT OF THE HON. LOIS CAPPS OF CALIFORNIA, TUESDAY JUNE 4, 2013
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the end of the first Preeclampsia Awareness Month.
Preeclampsia is a life–threatening disorder that can occur during pregnancy or the postpartum period and is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity. Each day hundreds of women and babies are affected by this condition, which is marked by a rapid rise in blood pressure that can lead to seizure, stroke, organ failure or death. Any pregnant woman is at risk, but symptoms are often dismissed as typical pregnancy complaints. Knowing the warning signs can help lead to more timely diagnoses and improve health outcomes for both the woman and her child.
Unfortunately, few people are adequately aware and informed of the risks. That is why I worked with my colleagues Representative Roybal-Allard and Representative Mooreto add Preeclampsia Awareness Month to the National Health Observances Calendar. We must improve the full scope of maternal health and need continued research to advance the field and improve the standard of care. In the meantime, we must build awareness to ensure women understand preeclampsia and are prepared to appropriately respond to warning signs.
Together we can eliminate preventable maternal death and disability by aligning resources, tools, and knowledge to address our most troublesome challenges. And this is exactly what the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative is doing in my home state. Just this year the Preeclampsia Collaborative began to help hospitals manage preeclampsia, reduce complications, and improve care for patients. I hope that as preeclampsia awareness grows this will be one of many initiatives across the country focused on helping providers deliver comprehensive, high quality maternal healthcare.
Thank you to the Preeclampsia Foundation and the many groups who worked tirelessly on behalf of women across the country to secure a national recognition. I am proud to be able to help commemorate the end of the first ever Preeclampsia Awareness Month and excited to see what the future brings.