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HUMC Receives Federal Grant to Protect At-Risk Pregnancies

Hackensack University Medical Center has received a federal grant of $3.3 million to continue and expand their work in the use of ultrasounds to diagnose a critical pregnancy complication.
Hackensack University Medical Center has received a federal grant of $3.3 million to continue and expand their work in the use of ultrasounds to diagnose a critical pregnancy complication. Photo Credit: UScollegesearch.org

HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) has received a $3,316,475 grant to measure pregnancy complications.

The grant, from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Health’s Human Placenta Project, will be used to enhance HUMC’s collaborative research program with University of Oxford physicians in the United Kingdom for the early detection of at-risk pregnancies.

“I am so proud of our brilliant and committed team and their tireless work to find innovative solutions that ensure the best care for our patients,” said President and CEO Robert C. Garrett. “This grant will enrich the groundbreaking work our Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine is doing to protect the families in our care.”

HUMC will use the grant to develop a four-year program that will test whether ultrasound techniques in the first trimester can better diagnose a life-threatening complication called Abnormally Invasive Placenta (also known as placenta accreta). Placenta Accreta occurs in about one out of every 2,500 women.

Dr. Abdulla Al-Khan, director of the Center for Abnormal Placentation (CAP) and section chief, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Surgery will lead the program as senior clinical investigator, along with Dr. Stacy Zamudio, Dr. Jesus Alvarez-Perez, Dr. Manuel Alvarez (co-investigator) and Dr. Nicholas Illsley. Dr. Ciaran Mannion and Dr. Christopher Koenig in the Department of Pathology are also collaborators in this effort.

“This grant will allow us to expand our program and invest more deeply in innovative practices so we can decrease maternal complications and improve outcomes for mothers and babies. I would especially like to thank Dr. Stacy Zamudio at HackensackUMC and Dr. Sally Collins at the University of Oxford for their tireless work on this project. Without them, this would not have been possible.”

HUMC was the first hospital in the nation to identify neovascularization, a complication of placenta accreta, thanks to the CAP, led by Al-Khan.

HUMC has the largest volume of deliveries as a single institution in the tristate area, with more than 6,300 births in 2011 alone. The hospital has become an active referral center for mothers with special needs.

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