“I was diagnosed with H.E.L.L.P syndrome, a life-threatening liver disorder, at 35 weeks pregnant, which led to an emergency C-section. My blood pressure was extremely high, leading to an extended hospital stay after my son was born. During my stay at the hospital, my blood pressure was checked by nurses every hour. After being in the hospital for 11 days, I was anxious and eager to go home.
I left the hospital with blood pressure medication and needed to continue to monitor my blood levels two times a day. Without this system, I would have most likely had to purchase one myself or go somewhere to get it checked. This system allowed me to check my blood pressure in the comfort of my own home.
Thank you to everyone at BC Women’s Hospital for your support through this scary process and your continued care even now that I am at home.” – Maria, BC Women’s Hospital patient
Home blood pressure monitoring systems are now in routine use at BC Women’s Hospital, providing women with an at-home solution to make their pregnancy and postpartum experience as comfortable and safe as possible during these challenging times.
A rapid solution was needed when the COVID-19 pandemic made it increasingly difficult for women with high blood pressure to access in-hospital blood pressure monitoring. In-person visits have been limited by at least 85%, while the total patient volumes remain steady.
Upon learning of this urgent need at BC Women’s Hospital, community supporters Aaron and Meghan Gillespie stepped up to fund the first order of 20 home blood pressure monitoring systems.
“A few years ago, I went through a traumatic pregnancy loss due to high blood pressure (which I didn’t even know I had). The Internal Medicine team at BC Women’s Hospital was so kind during a very stressful time for us – from the receptionist to the nurses and, of course, Dr. Chan and her team. They’ve helped me through two successful pregnancies since then, and I have two adorable daughters for which I am eternally grateful. As my husband and I know first hand how difficult a high-risk pregnancy can be, we were happy to step up and fund home blood pressure monitoring systems during this extra challenging time.” – Meghan Gillespie
Today, every single one of these monitors is in constant use to support pregnant and postpartum patients at BC Women’s Hospital, and there are plans to expand this service to support more women in the near future. Up to one-third of women referred to the Obstetric Medicine Team in the Department of Medicine at BC Women’s Hospital experience blood pressure issues during pregnancy. These patients require specialized care and close monitoring of their blood pressure, both during and after pregnancy, to ensure safe outcomes for mother and baby.
For these women, the home monitoring option makes a world of difference. They can report their blood pressure readings to their hospital care team over the phone, ensuring their healthcare needs are met. Women have reported that the at-home monitors are easy to use and that they actually prefer to measure their blood pressure at home rather than going into the clinic. This option offers them extra time for themselves and their families, which is especially meaningful when facing medical challenges on top of the existing COVID-19 precautions.
“These devices have given our team and patients the confidence to shift most blood pressure monitoring from clinic to home. I appreciate how they promote families staying safe together, avoiding multiple hospital visits in pregnancy and postpartum. We feel so fortunate to be able to provide this service to patients.” – Dr. Tessa Chaworth, Obstetric Internal Medicine, BC Women’s Hospital
The rapid response from donors, like Aaron and Meghan Gillespie, and BC Women’s Hospital means that women are continuing to receive the highest quality healthcare possible.
Thank you for being part of this beneficial solution.
Learn more about our COVID-19 Funds and how you can help make healthcare solutions more accessible for women during these challenging times.
BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice.