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Dr. John O’Brien on the most advanced, collaborative care for complicated pregnancies

Dr. John O'Brien
News Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

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For this week’s Making the Rounds, we interviewed John O’Brien, MD, director of UK Maternal-Fetal medicine, about the care and support his team offers.

Our maternal-fetal medicine doctors are specialists in the diagnosis and management of high-risk pregnancies, offering extensive ultrasound services, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, prenatal genetic counseling and more to help ensure you have a healthy pregnancy. 

Tell us about your team here at UK HealthCare.

We try to improve the situation for mom and baby as best as possible. We work with babies that have birth defects and help coordinate their care with all the subspecialists here at UK, providing the best opportunity for their early correction and improving their long-term outcomes. 

We also try to figure out why things are the way they are, and what is the underlying complication that's leading to the observations that we see.

What kind of research do you do? 

The research that we do is aimed at some of those fundamental questions as to why those pregnancy complications happen. We like to look at mechanisms for how some of our treatments work. 

One of the treatments, for instance, that we're currently working on is low dose aspirin to prevent a complication of pregnancy called preeclampsia. 

We do research and look at different markers and different changes in the body that are occurring that can give us a glimpse as to how that medicine is working and who we should best provide that medicine for to prevent negative pregnancy outcomes.

What made you want to pursue a career in maternal fetal medicine?

I was very interested in the smallest people and the earliest amongst us to try to help improve their outcomes. Just because I believe those are the most vulnerable people that we can take care of. 

I'm hoping that, just like I was inspired by my teachers at a young age, I can help inspire the next generation of physicians and see if we can motivate them to carry the baton and make even greater and grander advances in medicine and the care of complicated pregnancies.


Watch our full interview with Dr. O'Brien.

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