Aim To determine whether the use of home dipstix urinalysis testing is helpful in the detection, presentation and monitoring of patients of pre-eclampsia.
Method A retrospective study of a random population of patients, whose first pregnancy was complicated by pre-eclampsia.
Results 100 primigravida cases were reviewed. The mean age was 28 years.
The method of detection of pre-eclampsia varied; 53% at antenatal clinic and 24% after self-referral to hospital. 20% of these self-referred on discovering proteinuria on home urine dipstix.
4% of patients already diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, self–referred to hospital for assessment after discovering proteinuria on home dipstix. All required admission to hospital for further clinical assessment.
Outcome 99% live births and 1% stillborn.
Conclusion A subgroup of patients who developed pre-eclampsia in their first pregnancy initially presented as self-referral to hospital on discovering proteinuria on home visual dipstix urinalysis.
We suggest that this practical and cheap screening kit has great potential for the use in patients who then may self refer to midwifery or medical staff, both in the community and in hospital for further assessment for the diagnosis of pre-eclampsia. We argue that with further education and encouragement of patients in the use of home dipstix testing, earlier detection of pre-eclampsia will be enabled.
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