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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 4, 2015 12:53 PM
From: Representative Michael K. Hanna
To: All House members
Subject: Designating February 25, 2015 as "Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution declaring February 25, 2015 as "Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a rare disorder in which a pregnant woman's heart becomes weakened and enlarged. It develops during the last month of pregnancy, or within 5 months after the baby is born. The condition may occur in childbearing women of any age, but it is most common after the age of 30. The cause of the condition is unknown and patients usually have no history of heart disease. Symptoms of PPCM include difficulty breathing when lying flat, shortness of breath on exertion, swelling, frequent nighttime urination, cough, excessive weight gain in the final month of pregnancy, heart palpitations, chest pain and enlarged left heart ventricle.

While some women remain stable for long periods, others experience a rapid deterioration in health, show no improvement with medical therapy, and may require cardiac transplantation, or unfortunately die of heart failure, thromboembolic events, or cardiac arrhythmias.

The outcome is positive for women whose hearts return to normal size after the baby is born. If the heart remains enlarged, future pregnancies may result in heart failure. Women should understand the importance of contacting their health care provider if they are currently pregnant or have recently delivered a baby and think they may have signs of PPCM. Awareness is the key to successful PPCM outcomes. With this in mind, my resolution would be a positive step toward educating and informing women of the dangers of this condition and the importance of taking charge of their cardiovascular health.

Please join me in recognizing February 25, 2015 as "Peripartum Cardiomyopathy Awareness Day" in Pennsylvania by co-sponsoring this important resolution. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

If you have any questions, please contact Lynette Perkins via e-mail at LMPerkins@pahouse.net or by phone at 717-772-2283.

Introduced as HR87