Dr Alexandra Ridout – inflammation effect on preterm birth

Preterm birth is a significant public health issue

Dr Alexandra RidoutUnderstanding the role of inflammation in women at risk of preterm delivery

Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust: £19,742 over 10 months

Preterm birth

Preterm birth is a significant public health issue, which can, at worse, cause babies to die at birth or live with long-term disabilities.

The emotional and physical costs for the families involved are considerable, alongside the economic burden to society. We do not understand why some women have their babies early, although we strongly suspect that infection and inflammation is involved.

Dr Ridout’s research

Dr Ridout aims to study specific markers of inflammation in women who are at risk of preterm birth.

“Our aim is to develop a test that will allow clinicians to identify women at risk of having their babies too early in pregnancy,” Dr Ridout said.

By identifying high risk cases, doctors will be able to provide support to women as they prepare for preterm birth. Early markers will help doctors to know when to intervene when necessary.

“The ability to predict also allows us to provide reassurance to women who are likely to do well.”