Why take part in PANDA?

You are being invited to join the PANDA study.

On this page you can find out more about the study and why we think it's important.

On this page:

PANDA logo

What is PANDA?

About anaemia and pregnancy

What is anaemia?

Normal and anaemic blood drops

Anaemia is when the body does not have enough red blood cells. The most common cause of anaemia is a lack of iron.

Anaemia is common in pregnancy because the woman, baby and placenta need 10 times more iron than normal to stay healthy and grow.

How can anaemia affect pregnancy?

Pregnant women

A third of pregnant women in the UK can have anaemia. However, anaemia can be difficult to spot and treat effectively once it develops.

Research suggests that pregnant women with anaemia have a higher risk of having small babies that have failed to grow properly, babies that are born too early (prematurely) and stillbirths.

Affected women can also experience a variety of symptoms from tiredness, lethargy, shortness of breath, palpitations, and forgetfulness. Mothers who are anaemic on average have a higher blood loss at the time of giving birth and need more blood transfusions as well as surgery to stop the bleeding.

What is the aim of this study?

Iron supplement

It may be better to prevent anaemia in pregnancy than treat it once it develops.

One way to do this is for women to take iron supplements in their second trimester. Whilst we know that iron supplements are safe for women to take during pregnancy, we don’t yet know if giving iron to prevent anaemia works and how much iron needs to be taken to make a difference.

PANDA will help answer the question of whether all pregnant women should be advised to take iron supplements during pregnancy.

Why should I take part?

Pregnant woman

If successful, we think that many cases of maternal anaemia will be prevented, which will benefit women, babies and the health services.

By taking part in PANDA you will be helping to shape the way that millions of women experience pregnancy in the future.

Further information

If you have any questions for the researchers or would like further information, please do feel free to get in touch with the research team by emailing PANDA@nhsbt.nhs.uk.