To better address one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, Assembly Democrats Shanique Speight, Eliana Pintor Marin, Angela McKnight and Britnee Timberlake sponsor a bill that would require health care facilities to provide preeclampsia testing for certain women who are or were recently pregnant.
Under the bill (A-1073), hospitals providing inpatient maternity services, licensed birthing centers and any health care practitioner providing care to pregnant women or women who have given birth within the past month would be required to administer a test for preeclampsia if the patient shows symptoms of the condition and consents to testing.
Nearly 5 percent of all pregnant women experience preeclampsia, which is a condition that can happen during pregnancy and even after childbirth. Preeclampsia raises a person’s blood pressure to dangerous levels and can pose a serious risk to both mothers and babies.
Testing for the condition would include blood tests, ultrasonography and non-stress tests to help determine the presence of preeclampsia. If the woman tests positive, the provider would then be required to discuss the results and develop a treatment plan to help minimize health risks.
Upon the legislation being advanced by the Assembly Women and Children Committee on Monday, Assemblywomen Speight (D-Essex), Pintor Marin (D-Essex), McKnight (D-Hudson) and Timberlake (D-Essex, Passaic) issued the following joint statement:
“Preeclampsia is a serious condition that can result in painful and even life-threatening side effects for women if it is not properly treated. Yet far too often, healthcare providers fail to recognize the symptoms and communicate with their patients about the risks of this frequent complication.
“We need to do better for New Jersey mothers by ensuring they receive the care they need to have a happy, healthy pregnancy. Increasing testing for this condition is an important way we can help women throughout our state.”
The bill now heads to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.