Research on Pregnancy Testing begins at Cork University Maternity Hospital

Research on Pregnancy Testing begins at Cork University Maternity Hospital

A research study to develop tests which can be carried out on pregnant women who could be at risk of serious complications in their pregnancy, particularly the life-threatening condition, pre-eclampsia began at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) in early March 2008.

This study screening for Pregnancy Endpoints (SCOPE) is part of an international research programme involving a large team of doctors, scientists and midwives from New Zealand, Australia, the UK, the USA and now Ireland. Ireland will be the single largest contributor to the study. Over the next three years 3,000 women from the Munster region will take part bringing the global total of women participating in the study to 10,000. The study is being conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Cork.

The SCOPE Ireland team includes midwives, technicians, and ultrasonographers led by consultant obstetrician/gynaecologist and Health Research Board Clinician Scientist, Dr Louise Kenny. According to Dr Kenny; ‘This study is of enormous importance. We currently have no way of predicting which mothers are at risk of these common and occasionally serious pregnancy complications. This study will help us develop tests that will benefit mothers and their babies the world over’.

Midwife Nicolai Murphy who is co-ordinating the team says; “These are very exciting times for the hospital. It is fantastic to be part of such a big project, which could lead to the development of a predictive blood test to identify women at risk of serious complications in their pregnancy. As a midwife the health and safety of the mother and her unborn child are our priority. This study will greatly benefit future generations of mothers and their unborn babies enormously”.  

The research team acknowledges the funding of €1.6 million that has been granted by the Health Research Board to carry out the study.


For further information visit the SCOPE website here Scopestudy

Last updated on: 10 / 04 / 2008