Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units (MFMU) Network at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital is part of a national network focusing on clinical questions regarding matters concerning maternal fetal medicine and obstetrics. We are funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Learn more about MFMU, current studies, and how to participate in studies.
The NICHD established the MFMU Network in 1986 to respond to the need for well-designed clinical trials in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetrics, particularly with respect to the continuing problem of preterm birth. The aims of the Network are to reduce maternal, fetal and infant morbidity related to preterm birth, fetal growth abnormalities, and maternal complications and to provide the rationale for evidence-based, cost-effective obstetric practice. UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital joined the Network in 2016 with Dr. Hyagriv Simhan as the principal investigator.
The MFMU Network is designed to conduct perinatal studies to improve maternal and fetal outcomes. Greatest emphasis and priority are given to randomized-controlled trials, followed by observational studies.
The major aims of the Network are to:
- Reduce the rates of preterm birth, fetal growth abnormalities, neurologic sequelae of the newborn and maternal complications of pregnancy
- Evaluate maternal and fetal interventions for efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness
Included in these aims are:
- Translational research
- The use of genetics
- The evaluation of new technologies in the promotion of maternal-child health/prevention of disease
MFMU Network Studies
This research study is being done to find out whether using a sleep device called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) lowers the risk of high blood pressure among pregnant women that have shallow or pauses in breathing while they sleep. If eligible based on a screening home sleep test, patients will be randomly assigned (like tossing a coin) to either CPAP or sleep advice (tips and tricks to improve your sleep) for the remainder of their pregnancy. Participants will be paid $50 for the sleep screening test to determine if they are eligible for the study. Eligible participants randomized to the sleep advice group will be paid up to $100. Eligible participants randomized to the CPAP group will be paid up to $525 during their study participation. For information on participating in this study please contact Victoria Lopata at 412-641-4113 or email@example.com. You can also contact Melissa Bickus at 412-641-4072 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Women who have a short cervix (which is the lower, narrow part of the womb) are more likely to deliver their babies preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Babies born preterm have a greater chance of having serious, long-term health problems or dying. The purpose of this research study is to find out whether a pessary lowers the risk of a baby being born preterm to women with a short cervix. A pessary is a round, soft silicone device that goes around the cervix to give the cervix support. Study participants will be paid up to $190 by the completion of their study participation. For information on participating in this study please contact Morgan Birsic at 412-641-4112 or email@example.com or Ashleigh Welshons at 412-641-1179 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Studies have shown that women pregnant with twins are more likely to deliver their babies preterm (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) compared with women pregnant with one baby. Babies born preterm have a greater chance of having serious, long-term health problems or dying. A short cervix (which is the lower, narrow part of the womb) is more common in women carrying twins. Women who have a short cervix are more likely to deliver their babies preterm. The best treatment for pregnant women with twins who have a short cervix is not known. Some studies have shown that placing a pessary around the cervix or using vaginal progesterone may help to prolong the pregnancy. The purpose of this research study is to find out whether pessary or vaginal progesterone lowers the risk of babies being born preterm to women who are carrying twins and have a short cervix. A pessary is a round, soft silicone device that goes around the cervix. Progesterone is a hormone naturally produced by the placenta (afterbirth). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers both the pessary and vaginal progesterone to be experimental for the purposes of this research study. There is no recommended standard treatment for women carrying twins who have been found to have a short cervix. Study participants will be paid up to $165 by the completion of their study participation. For information on participating in this study please contact Ashleigh Welshons at 412-641-1179 or email@example.com or Morgan Birsic at 412-641-4112 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This research study examines if a medication called tranexamic acid (TXA) will prevent severe bleeding (hemorrhage) after a cesarean delivery. Whenever a woman has a cesarean delivery, there is some amount of bleeding. Occasionally (in less than 5 of every 100 births), there is severe bleeding that can place the mother’s health at risk. When there is too much bleeding after a cesarean delivery, women are given medicines, blood transfusions, or they may possibly need another surgery. TXA is routinely used to lessen the chance of hemorrhage after major operations such as heart surgery. It works by making your blood clot sooner. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cesarean sections and is an experimental drug in this research study. We are doing this study to see if this drug also works for women who are having a cesarean section. Study participants will be paid $50 for their participation. For more information on this study please contact Melissa Bickus at 412-641-4072 or email@example.com.
This research study is studying Pravastatin to prevent preeclampsia which is high blood pressure with other signs that your organs are not working normally. The study is enrolling women who had a pregnancy complicated with preeclampsia and delivered more than six weeks before their due date. These women are at higher than average risk of having preeclampsia again in this pregnancy. Consented patients will be in the study from randomization (between 12 weeks 0 days and 16 weeks 6 days along in their pregnancy) until 5 years after their baby is born. Study participants will be randomly assigned (like tossing a coin) to pravastatin capsules or capsules that have no active medicine in them (called placebo). Study participants will be paid up to $450 by the completion of their study participation. For more information on this study please contact Victoria Lopata at 412-641-4113 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Melissa Bickus at 412-641-4072 or email@example.com.
MOM 2 BABY HEALTH STUDY
The purpose of this research study is to understand how events and biology during pregnancy relate to the development of your baby. This will be measured using a combination of surveys targeted at your current and past experiences and biological samples such as blood and body measurements. Surveys, Blood, and body measurements will be collected at two-time points during pregnancy; once before 27 weeks and once between 30-35 weeks. The total compensation for both prenatal visits is $100. After the birth of your baby, we will collect delivery samples, including cord blood, and complete two brief check-ins at months one and three. Our next visit with you and our first visit with your baby will be at month 6. During this visit, we will complete basic body measurements on your baby and you will have the option to complete questionnaires in-office or at home. This will be repeated at month 12, with the addition of a blood draw for the baby that will be compared with cord blood collected at birth. Total compensation for visits during Baby’s first year will be $125. For more information on participating in this study please call Rachel Buehl-Colella at 412-641-7917 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Lara Counts at 412-641-8035 or email@example.com.
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