PRECOG (stands for Pre-eclampsia Community Guideline) is all about finding out for everyone early in pregnancy if you are more likely to develop pre-eclampsia, and then doing something about it. It was developed at APEC, approved by the official groups who represent midwives, obstetricians, GPs and by the NCT, and 2 years since its launch it is used by at least half of the hospitals in the country. So your midwife or obstetrician will have heard of it and may be following it. If not, ask them why not!!
So what is in the PRECOG guideline and how can it help my care?
First it is a list of things that make you more likely to get pre-eclampsia in your pregnancy. They are things that your GP or midwife will talk about with you the first time that you visit them to say that you are pregnant- the earlier the better. I will go through them all in detail in another post.
Second it is a list of things that the midwife can do straight away after checking if you are more likely to get pre-eclampsia. Some women will be offered a visit to see a specialist straight away. This is to find out how your individual body works and to see if there is any treatment, or special care, that can be started early on. Another group of women are more likely than others to get pre-eclampsia and will be invited to see their midwife more frequently than usual after 20 weeks to pick up the first signs or symptoms. The third group of women have no known reason to get pre-eclampsia, so they do not have to visit their midwife so frequently. But as anyone can get it, they need to know about the symptoms too, where to go and what to do about it.
Finally, PRECOG tells midwives and GPs what signs and symptoms to look out for, at what stage action is needed, and how quickly to act. In the areas of the country where PRECOG is working well, this is the part that midwives and women really like. It means that if you are asked to go to hospital for a check up by your midwife or GP, everyone at the hospital knows why you are there and what to do about it.
The full guideline can be found at http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/330/7491/576
It is quite wordy, but if you would like me to go through it with you, just let me know!