Flowers’ Bill requiring better blood pressure services for pregnant women becomes law

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State Rep. Mary Flowers

A new law sponsored by state Rep. Mary Flowers, D-Chicago, will now demand hospitals to provide better blood pressure services to pregnant women, helping save their lives.

“It is unconscionable to think that in the United States, and even Illinois, pregnant women still face critical health care issues that could cost them their lives,” Flowers said. “For too long, pregnant women have not had the care and services they deserve just to help keep them alive, and that dilemma is far worse for African-American women, too. That’s why my legislation requires Illinois hospitals to take extra care for pregnant women when checking for high-blood pressure and other common health issues, as sometimes issues like maternal hypertension are missed and blood pressure inaccurately measured.”

Flowers’ House Bill 2433 requires every hospital in Illinois to ensure that it has all necessary and proper instruments available to measure a pregnant woman’s blood pressure. Having the proper instruments will help pregnant women address any health issue they are facing, such as hypertension. As a result of under-measured and inaccurate signs of high-blood pressure, many pregnant women have died. The National Center for Biotechnology recently found that in-home devices that are used to help women report their measurements can improperly account for high-blood pressure readings.

Flowers’ law empowers the Department of Public Health to administer the rules for hospitals to adhere to when taking pregnant women’s blood pressure.

“I strongly encourage all women to visit their doctors to receive an updated and accurate account for their health and well-being,” Flowers said. “I will never give up on fighting for the best possible care for women, and this new law is finally a step in the right direction.”

Flowers represents the 31st District, which includes portions of the Auburn-Gresham community in Chicago, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Countryside and others. For more information, contact Flowers’ constituent service office at 773-471-5200 or email her at maryeflowers@ilga.gov.

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