Background of the CRADLE Project
Each member of our team has had the opportunity to work in maternity care in both low-income and high-income countries, and has witnessed the staggering injustice in the diversity of clinical outcomes that occurs around the world. This was the driving force behind the CRADLE project.
With 99% of all maternal deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and the majority of deaths being preventable, the huge discrepancy between settings can largely be explained by poor recognition of illness and lack of timely intervention.
Obstetric haemorrhage, pregnancy induced high blood pressure and severe infections directly cause the majority of maternal deaths worldwide. Effective interventions are readily available but, due to poor access and training, are not instigated. In each of these conditions, measuring vital signs is key to early recognition, allowing timely management and prevention of adverse clinical outcome.
The aims of the CRADLE project were to develop a device capable of accurately detecting abnormalities in vital signs (including blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR)) and to introduce this device to LMICs communities and hospitals. We also aimed to prospectively evaluate the device’s ability to facilitate prompt referral and intervention, with the aim of reducing mortality and morbidity.