The EMPiRE tool developed by researchers from the Queen Mary University of London can predict risk of epileptic seizures in pregnant women.
The novel risk calculator is an important tool for calculating epileptic seizure risk in expecting women and has the potential to save the lives of both the mother and the baby. Epileptic seizures during pregnancy can harm the baby's health. Seizures can obstruct oxygen supply to the uterus and result in injuries and risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Research has estimated a 15% to 30% risk of epileptic seizures during the first or third trimester.
The new risk calculator has been proven effective in estimating accurate seizure risk in pregnant women who are taking anti-epileptic drugs. Data that is easily accessible from a routine antenatal appointment is used by the tool for making as assessment, this includes information such as seizure type, frequency, type of ant-epileptic dosage. The data helps the tool calculate the risk during pregnancy as well as 2 months post-delivery which is the most critical for the mother and the baby.
Lead investigator, Prof.Shakila Thangaratinam from the Queen Mary University of London explains, "The EMPiRE tool is the first ever to predict the risk of seizure in pregnant women with epilepsy who are on anti-epileptic drugs. Our model gave accurate predictions regardless of the type of care the woman received, and we're now making it freely available online via a web-based calculator so that any clinician in any part of the world can use it with their patients. By identifying the women who are at greatest risk of seizures, we can monitor them more closely during pregnancy, labor and childbirth, or consider increasing their anti-epileptic drug dose to reduce that risk."
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