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CentraCare Launches Blue Band Initiative to Combat Preeclampsia

Published in Birthing Services, Media Releases

CentraCare is launching the Blue Band Initiative, a new effort in Minnesota to improve awareness and recognition of preeclampsia within our communities. Preeclampsia is a serious disorder that develops during pregnancy or up to 6 weeks after delivery. As part of this project, patients at risk for preeclampsia will receive a blue wristband.

If someone you know or if you see someone who is experiencing a medical problem and who has a blue wristband, please speak up and notify medical personnel. This knowledge can affect treatment options and health outcomes. Symptoms of preeclampsia can mimic other conditions making it hard for medical staff to recognize — especially if the woman is not obviously pregnant or unable to verbalize her medical history. Some symptoms of preeclampsia include swelling, headaches, vision changes, nausea, weight gain, trouble breathing, chest pain and confusion.

“My hope is that through this initiative health care workers will gain a better understanding of the subtle signs and symptoms of preeclampsia, and women of all backgrounds will get similar treatment and care,” said Melissa Erickson, MSN Ed., CentraCare – St. Cloud Hospital Birth Center. “I would love to see this program spread across the Midwest.”

Without proper treatment, preeclampsia can lead to stroke, seizure, organ damage or death.