When Sebastian Barrett came into the world two months early, he wasn't breathing. Parents Gemma and Craig say they almost lost him in delivery because of pre-eclampsia, a severe type of high blood pressure.
"The fear of - I've carried this baby for 33 weeks - what's gonna happen now, was horrendous," Barrett said.
Now researchers in the UK have come up with a blood test that can diagnose the complication before it develops. "We dont have any treatment for pre-eclampsia. the only cure we have is delivery of the baby," said Dr. Lucy Chappell with King's College London.
Dr. Chappell says the test measures protein levels in the placenta and is 96 percent accurate. "If you have very low levels of this protein called placental growth factor, it reflects the fact that your placenta is not growing well, and that is at the heart of the disease," she said.
Pre-eclampsia affects about 8-percent of pregnant woman. Barrett worries about developing it again if she has another baby. "If we were lucky enough to get pregnant again, i would be very keen to have this test," she said.
She hopes it will be available to put her and other expecting moms at ease.
Alphonso Van Marsh - CBS News
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