Tonight, iconic buildings around Vancouver will light up in orange for World Preeclampsia Day. BC Place, Vancouver City Hall, North Vancouver City Hall, Vancouver Convention Centre and Science World will all have orange lights to raise awareness for preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy complication that can lead to serious health problems or death for both mother and baby. 

PRE-EMPT, a multi-national global health project coordinated out of the University of British Columbia, BC Children’s Hospital, and the Centre for International Child Health, is one of the co-sponsors of World Preeclampsia Day. PRE-EMPT is dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preeclampsia and related disorders worldwide. 

“Preeclampsia is relatively common and has a huge impact on families and communities across the world,” says Dr. Peter von Dadelszen. “At PRE-EMPT, we’re very pleased to join health organizations worldwide in promoting awareness of this devastating condition as part of World Preeclampsia Day.”

BC Place Stadium lit up orange for World Preeclampsia Day

Dr. von Dadelszen is the Principal Investigator of PRE-EMPT, Affiliate Investigator at BC Children’s Hospital, Honorary Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UBC, and Professor of Women’s Health at King’s College London.

Preeclampsia usually occurs during the second half of pregnancy and is characterized by the sudden onset of high blood pressure with signs of damage to another organ system, most commonly the liver and kidneys. Women with preeclampsia need to be monitored closely by health care professionals and may need to have their babies delivered early. If not properly managed, preeclampsia can result in seizures and organ damage that threaten the life of both mother and baby. 

Preeclampsia affects eight to 10 per cent of pregnancies and is a leading cause of death for moms and babies. Worldwide, 76,000 women and 500,000 infants die as a result of preeclampsia every year. 

Since 2010, PRE-EMPT has been tackling preeclampsia across the world by developing, testing and introducing new ways to monitor, prevent and treat the condition. PRE-EMPT research projects include studies on whether increased calcium intake prior to pregnancy can prevent preeclampsia and evaluation of the Preeclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk (PIERS) model for predicting which women will develop dangerous complications from preeclampsia. 

For more information about preeclampsia, visit the World Preeclampsia Day website

PRE-EMPT is supported by the University of British Columbia, King’s College London, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the World Health Organization and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.