The research team has developed a new toolkit – IRON MOM that can better control iron deficiency (ID) in the pregnancy. This toolkit can enhance the detection and management of ID in pregnant women.
A study in the journal “PLOS Medicine” has assessed the positive effects of the IRON MOM toolkit. And it has compared the rates of ferritin testing in the obstetric clinics before and after the use of this toolkit.
Implementation of IRON MOM toolkit increases the rates of ferritin testing and leads to a reduction in the rates of IDA
The iron deficiency is one of the common problems in women during pregnancy. It can affect the health of both the mother and the fetus. The daily supplementation of iron is a simple and efficient way to control and treat ID and ID anemia (IDA) in the pregnancy.
But mostly both of these go untreated due to the lack of information about their implications. The use of the IRON MOM toolkit has led to an increase in the rates of ferritin testing and a decrease in the rates of IDA.
Ferritin is a blood cell protein used to store iron. The ferritin test can help the doctors to detect the amount of iron stored in the body. IRON MOM is a paper-based toolkit and involves educational resources and clinical pathways.
It can guide pregnant mothers and clinicians about the screening and management of ID and IDA. So, it can lead to better control of iron deficiency in pregnancy. If not treated on time, deficiency of iron can cause some serious health issues.
It may result in anemia, early labor, babies with low birth weight, and growth issues in the child. Anemia is a state in which a body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to supply oxygen to the tissues.
Health agencies have always suggested screening pregnant women for ID. But it doesn’t take place as often as it should. The problem may be the lack of awareness or the competing priorities in the obstetric clinics.
This has acted as the stimulus for the promotion of IRON MOM. IRON MOM provides support and guidance for women. It also empowers pregnant mothers to talk to their doctors and ensure that they are getting enough iron.
Priority setting and the simple changes in the patient’s management can impact the outcomes of iron deficiency
This study has implemented the IRON MOM toolkit in the obstetric clinics at St. Michael’s. And the research team has analyzed the results after one year. The team found that there was a 10 times increase in the rate of ferritin testing per month.
Besides this, the team has noted a decrease in the risk of ID anemia. The IRON MOM toolkit can also lead to a reduction in the need for blood transfusions before and after pregnancy to improve the count of red blood cells.
The results have suggested the IRON MOM toolkit can better control iron deficiency in pregnancy. It has shown that by the priority setting and making simple changes in the patient’s management, one can impact the main clinical outcomes.
The research team has said that these results can help in expanding the IRON MOM toolkit in other clinics. At present, the team is trying to make the IRON MOM smartphone app. And this app can ensure the availability of the toolkit to the clinicians and women across the country.