Saturday, August 25, 2007

The screening procedure that can lead to miscarriage

AFTER a standard prenatal screening, Rochelle Tubb, then 30, was told her first child had a high risk of Down syndrome.

Her doctor persuaded her to have an amniocentesis, a procedure in which amniotic fluid is removed from the womb and tested. While an amniocentesis provides a more accurate analysis of chromosomal abnormality, it has a risk of miscarriage.

Between one in 200 and one in 1000 mothers who have the procedure lose their babies.

Three days after having the amniocentesis, Ms Tubb returned to hospital, fearing she was having a miscarriage.

While an ultrasound confirmed the baby was fine and the results of the amniocentesis later came back negative for Down syndrome, Ms Tubb, now the mother of three healthy girls - Imogen, 5, Bronte, 3, and Arabella, 18 months - said the experience was traumatising.

Had a nuchal translucency scan and blood test shown there was a high risk of abnormality for her second and third daughters, she would not have had another amniocentesis, she says.

"It was a hard decision because the risk of miscarriage was the same as the risk of Down syndrome," she said from her home in the Hunter Valley.

"If I had a miscarriage when there was nothing wrong with the baby, it would have been a horrific outcome."


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