To generate widespread awareness about Pre-eclampsia, a severe and dangerous disorder or complication of pregnancy, May 22 is observed as “World Pre-eclampsia Day (WPD)” every year. Regarded as a serious complication associated with pregnancy, pre-eclampsia occurs when there is high blood pressure and possibly protein in the urine during pregnancy or after delivery. A woman suffering from this condition may also have low clotting factors (platelets) in their blood or indicators of kidney or liver trouble. Generally, the condition occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. However, in some cases, it can also occur earlier or after delivery. According to sciencedaily.com, pre-eclampsia is said to affect more than 10 percent of the pregnancies worldwide and is a leading cause of maternal and infant mortality, 76,000 maternal deaths and 500,000 infant deaths each year worldwide. If left untreated, the condition can at a later stage develop into eclampsia – a more fatal complication for both the mother and the child. There is no specific way to prevent this condition. However, timely screening and early diagnosis can help permit preventive actions and avoid complications at the time of pregnancy. Obstetric gynecologists or other specialists treating pre-eclampsia patients can depend on the services of professional medical billing companies for correct clinical documentation of this condition.

Education is an important aspect in reducing the number of deaths associated with the condition. The 2021 worldwide observance is a unique platform to spread awareness about this condition, its screening and treatment options, and its global impact on the lives of mothers, babies and families. There is no one single cause of preeclampsia, but certain problems like autoimmune disorders, blood vessel problems and genetic issues can contribute towards the occurrence of this condition. Several factors such as being pregnant with multiple fetuses, pregnant women above the age of 36 years, being pregnant for the first time, obesity, and having a history of high blood pressure/diabetes/kidney disorders can increase the potential risk associated with the condition.

The one-day campaign aims to highlight the symptoms and other complications associated with this disorder, on a global level. In the early stages, this pregnancy-related disorder may not display any specific, visible symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, high blood pressure and protein may suddenly build up in the urine. The patient may experience other symptoms such as fluid retention (edema), with swelling in the hands, feet, ankles, and face, headache, nausea and vomiting, upper abdominal pain, blurred vision, impaired liver function, and shortness of breath (caused by fluid in the lungs).

Physicians may generally recommend a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure and tests positive for any one of the complications like – proteinuria, a low platelet count, impaired liver function, pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), signs of kidney problems, and new onset of headaches or visual disturbances. Other diagnostic tests including blood tests, urine analysis, fetal ultrasound, and non-stress test or biophysical profile will also be performed as part of the diagnosis. The recommended treatment for pre-eclampsia during pregnancy is delivery of the baby. Once the baby is delivered, preeclampsia symptoms should resolve. In most cases, this prevents the disease from progressing. Women diagnosed with this condition are advised to attend prenatal sessions frequently. Medications like antihypertensives, anticonvulsants and corticosteroids are recommended. If a woman diagnosed with this condition is far from the end of her pregnancy and her symptoms are mild, the physician may advise complete bed rest as this will help bring down the blood pressure level (which increases the flow of blood to the placenta).

Obstetricians/gynecologists and other specialists treating pregnant women with pre-eclampsia must correctly document the symptoms, screening tests, and treatment procedures provided using the right medical codes. Medical billing services include assigning the right ICD-10 codes on the medical claims submitted to payers. ICD-10 codes for pre-eclampsia include –

  • O14 – Pre-eclampsia 
    • O14.0 – Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia
      • O14.00 – Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia, unspecified trimester
      • O14.02 – Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia, second trimester
      • O14.03 – Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia, third trimester
      • O14.04 – Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia, complicating childbirth
      • O14.05- Mild to moderate pre-eclampsia, complicating the puerperium
    • O14.1 – Severe pre-eclampsia
      • O14.10 – Severe pre-eclampsia, unspecified trimester
      • O14.12 – Severe pre-eclampsia, second trimester
      • O14.13 – Severe pre-eclampsia, third trimester
      • O14.14 – Severe pre-eclampsia, complicating childbirth
      • O14.15 – Severe pre-eclampsia, complicating the puerperium
    • O14.9 – Unspecified pre-eclampsia
      • O14.90 – Unspecified pre-eclampsia, unspecified trimester
      • O14.92 – Unspecified pre-eclampsia, second trimester
      • O14.93 – Unspecified pre-eclampsia, third trimester
      • O14.94 – Unspecified pre-eclampsia, complicating childbirth
      • O14.95 – Unspecified pre-eclampsia, complicating the puerperium

As part of the campaign, maternal health organizations around the world will join hands to publicize the event. Partners in this global effort include the Pre-eclampsia Foundation, Ending Eclampsia/USAID, the International Society for the Study of Hypertension in Pregnancy and PRECISE/PRE-EMPT. The one-day event will publicize a campaign – “Act Early! Screen Early! Fact sheets, posters, flyers, and World Pre-eclampsia Day badges will be distributed worldwide. A flashmob on “World Pre-eclampsia Day” will be arranged across the world to provide information about pre-eclampsia and to raise awareness for early risk assessment and targeted preventative measures to save the lives of women-at-risk and their unborn babies. People can share social media graphics and email signature banners for both professional societies and parent-patient organizations. People can also post selfies on their social media account(s) and use hashtags #ActEarlyScreenEarly and #WorldPreeclampsiaDay2021.

Be part of World Pre-eclampsia Day (WPD) on May 22. Act Early, Screen Early and spread awareness about the condition and screening as well as treatment options.