Require Routine Urinalysis for Pregnant Women

Require Routine Urinalysis for Pregnant Women

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Kaitlin Dorr started this petition to USPSTF Senior Project Coordinator and

I went into labor on the evening of February 7th, 2021 after experiencing a normal, routine pregnancy. Upon admission to the hospital the following morning, after multiple attempts were made to find our baby boy's heartbeat, my husband and I were told the worst thing you could possibly hear as expecting parents- "I'm so sorry, but this baby is no longer alive.". 

I had been at the doctor just a few days prior to this. My doctor and I had listened to his heartbeat, my belly was measured, and all seemed well. Other than the aches and pains that come with being 39 weeks pregnant, I had been feeling normal. How could this be?

I was diagnosed with preeclampsia during labor. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication that can be fatal to mother and/or baby if left untreated. Symptoms include high blood pressure, swelling, severe headaches, and excess protein in the mother's urine. Despite having excessive swelling and two slightly elevated blood pressures during my last weeks of pregnancy, my urine was never tested for excess protein. Because I was unaware of the warning signs of preeclampsia, I was unable to advocate for myself and my baby boy. 

We now know that our baby's death was caused by a placental abruption, possibly as a result of my preeclampsia. I was told by my OB at a follow up appointment that I may have had preeclampsia during my pregnancy that simply wasn't detected until I was in labor. When asked why my urine was not tested throughout my pregnancy, he informed us that it's no longer required and therefore many OBGYN offices do not routinely perform urine tests anymore. My heart sank as he told me that this simple test would have been beneficial in my case.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology says on their website in reference to the usefulness of urine protein dipstick testing, "This testing is both unnecessary and time consuming, and the high false positive rate may lead to added stress on the patient that could be reasonably avoided.". I can say with complete confidence that I would rather have been inconvenienced by a simple test that could have provided a false positive, but have a healthy and living baby in my arms.

We will most likely never have 100% certainty that our baby boy would still be here if things were done differently, but if there is any chance that this testing could save one mama or baby, shouldn't it be required? Please sign this petition to help make this a reality.

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At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!