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Rebecca Pullon

St Hugh's College


Current Research

Predicting Physiology Patterns in Pregnancy (4P study)

An urgent need to develop an evidence-based, national, Modified Obstetric Early Warning Score (MEOWS) was highlighted in the two most recent Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the UK.  An essential prerequisite to developing such an early warning system is knowledge of the normal distributions of vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and oxygen saturation) in “low-risk” pregnant women.  The 4P Study aims to obtain this longitudinal data, from <14 weeks’ gestation to 2 weeks after delivery, from women participating in the Oxford arm of the INTERBIO-21st Study.

Maternal vital signs are now being recorded at each ultrasound scan visit. All routinely collected intra-partum and post-partum measurements are being added to the dataset. Each participant is also being trained in the use of home monitoring equipment to provide a daily dataset for the 2 weeks after delivery.

The student will develop pattern analysis methods to track the changes in physiology during pregnancy, and for the first two weeks after delivery, for the whole population and for individual women. This will require both univariate analysis (each variable in turn) and multivariate analysis based on visualisation techniques. In addition, the student will develop and test algorithms to extract respiratory rate from the accelerometer data recorded with a smartphone at each visit and subsequently in the home.