Essay PreviewMore ↓
Screening for Down syndrome is available to about 53.5% of mothers on a maternal age basis, and the remaining 46.5% of health boards provide serum screening for all ages.
There are several methods used in prenatal screening, these are usually used separately, and a number of factors are taken into account to determine which method should be used. Amniocentesis has been around for 20 years and is probably the most well known screening method. It involves testing a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus, ultrasound is used to guide a needle through the abdomen, into the womb and a small amount of amniotic fluid (20ml) is removed. The procedure is usually carried out at 14-16 weeks. Amniocentesis tests for chromosome disorders, and is 99.8% reliable for chromosome number, there is however a risk of miscarriage (usually 1/250 or less) after the procedure. This is one of the reasons why amniocentesis has only been offered to over 35's (since they have a much higher risk of having a Down syndrome child)(Webb 1990).
Previous studies on amniocentesis concentrated on problems that might arise during pregnancy or immediately after, these studies found that children whose mothers had amniocentesis are more likely to have breathing problems in the first few days after birth. A study performed by Jo-Anne Finegan in Toronto followed 88 women who had, had amniocentesis, there was an increased incidence of ear infection in this group. Finegan tested the stiffness of the eardrum and found children in the amniocentesis group were more than three times as likely to have abnormal readings. It is thought that there is a disruption of the delicate balance of pressure across the eardrum when the amniotic fluid is removed, which could cause the problems(Webb 1990).
Chorionic villus sampling is another form of sampling, it involves taking a small piece of placenta and genetic testing is carried out on it, there is a slightly higher chance of foetal loss with this procedure (Dick 1996).
A more recent form of prenatal testing involves serum markers. Blood is taken from the pregnant women and the maternal blood is tested for three hormones, this test is called the 'triple screen' test. The three hormones tested are alpha foeto-protein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) and oestradiol (E3). AFP is based on the fact that Down syndrome foetuses tend to be smaller on average, have smaller placentas and thus secrete less AFP.
How to Cite this Page
"Prenatal Screening." 123HelpMe.com. 24 Jan 2020
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Child is a gift from God. Every parent hopes for a healthy child. Abnormalities in the fetus growth have become common nowadays. These abnormalities may be due to physical, radiation and chemical factors. The most common factor is due to genetic mutation, which causes mental retardation, abnormal body buildup and other conditions, which bring a lot of troubles in the future to the child themselves and their parents. Modern technologies and innovations in the medical field had developed a method known as prenatal screening to detect the abnormality before birth and prevent this future tragedy to happen.... [tags: Pregnancy, Parenting, Testing]
1406 words (4 pages)
- When thinking of a child the main objective is to ensure they have the best in life and the best way parents do so is by protecting their little one’s health. In this current society parents and other individuals value the health of children as Preliminary genetic screening is used more by expecting parents. As technology adapted throughout the ages it aided parents to prolong and better their child’s life takes vaccines for example they eradicated small pox’s and polio disease that claim several youths in the past and research hospitals like Saint Jude’s has given children a better survival rate of terminal diseases.... [tags: Genetics, Preimplantation genetic diagnosis]
1799 words (5.1 pages)
- Genetic testing, also known as screening, is a rapidly advancing new scientific field that can potentially revolutionize not only the world of medicine, but many aspects of our lives. Genetic screening is the sequencing of human DNA in order to discover genetic differences, anomalies, or mutations that may prove pathological. As genetic screening becomes more advanced and easily accessible, it presents society with difficult questions that must be asked about the boundaries of science and to what degree we are allowed to tamper with the human genome.... [tags: prenatal genetic screening, diagnosis]
1504 words (4.3 pages)
- While prenatal and postnatal screening tools to identify women with a high risk of PPD have been developed, there is no specific tool tailored to adolescents (Nunes & Phipps, 2013). Due to differences in life circumstances, screening instruments developed for the general population of pregnant women may not provide accurate results for adolescents (Nunes & Phipps, 2013). In a study Nunes & Phipps (2013) found that when applied to adolescent populations, their predictive model developed for the general population of pregnant women did not offer accurate results (Nunes & Phipps, 2013).... [tags: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Risk, Woman]
1495 words (4.3 pages)
- Down Syndrome All human beings are made up cells. In every cell, there is specific DNA that contains genetic material, which makes up a person. Genes are what is responsible for our appearance, and traits. Naturally, a cell is made up of 23 chromosomes. Whenever a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21; this individual will have Down syndrome. “It's this extra genetic material that causes the physical features and developmental delays associated with DS.” (“Down Syndrome.”). It can be inherited from one, or both of the parents.... [tags: prenatal screening, prenatal diagnostic]
2139 words (6.1 pages)
- Prenatal screening Screening for Down syndrome is available to about 53.5% of mothers on a maternal age basis, and the remaining 46.5% of health boards provide serum screening for all ages. There are several methods used in prenatal screening, these are usually used separately, and a number of factors are taken into account to determine which method should be used. Amniocentesis has been around for 20 years and is probably the most well known screening method. It involves testing a sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus, ultrasound is used to guide a needle through the abdomen, into the womb and a small amount of amniotic fluid (20ml) is removed.... [tags: essays research papers]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
- One of the questions that has recently plagued me has been that of which is about the genetic structuring of our offspring. I ask myself, will we able to choose the physical features our child. If so, do we as a society think this will be an ethical practice. Perhaps, scientifically, this might be entirely possible, but law will most likely restrict it. An article written by Frederic Golden helped me draw some understanding on this hot topic. Golden commences his article with a brief story of a mother and father who have been through prenatal testing.... [tags: Genetic Testing Essays]
694 words (2 pages)
- A Comparison of Parental and Non-Parental Attitudes Towards Prenatal Screening Abstract ======== Prenatal genetic screening has been offered by health authorities in the UK for over twenty years in order to identify those at a higher than average risk of having a child with a disability so that the parents may be offered genetic testing to give more specific information about the health of the foetus and define the risk for future pregnancies. However with the continual advances of the Human Genome Project, there is an increasing trend towards more parental control over a child's characteristics.... [tags: Papers]
3419 words (9.8 pages)
- Have you ever wondered what your children will look like. whether they will be boys or girls. or perhaps what your fate may be. Well, someday we may be able to answer all those questions and many more with genetic testing. Scientist are making new discoveries every day in the field of genetics that could possibly change our whole world as we know it. They are presently working on a project called the Human Genome Project, that will map and sequence the human genome. The basic goal of the ambitious research endeavor is to identify every gene found in the human body.... [tags: Genetic Screening Essays]
2723 words (7.8 pages)
- Current research from the human genome project has identified numerous genes that are responsible for genetic disorders impacting society. This knowledge provides us with opportunities to test children and adults to predetermine genetic disorders/diseases and make educated decisions about options available. The U.S. Congress' Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) defines genetic testing as "the use of specific assays to determine the genetic status of individuals already suspected to be at high risk for a particular inherited condition." In contrast, genetic screening is defined as the systematic search of populations for persons with latent, early, or asymptomatic disease and is distinguis... [tags: Genetic Screening Essays]
1565 words (4.5 pages)
Prenatal sonography looks at the foetus using ultrasound, by measuring the iliac angle in the pelvis the risk of Down syndrome can be measured. A study performed shows that the mean iliac angle is 60o for normal foetuses and 75o in foetuses with Down syndrome, by measuring the iliac angle in foetuses the liklihood of Down syndrome can be worked out, for example if the iliac angle is 50o the liklihood is 1/588 of the foetus having trisomy 21, if however the angle is 80o then the chance is 1/50. This type of prenatal testing although not as reliable as amniocentesis is much safer.
Saridogan et al 1996 pointed out a number of reasons why Down syndrome may not be detected, first of all women may decline the test, this may be due to ignorance of the test or to cultural/religous reasons. Another reason may be due to the late presentation of the woman, as stated above testing before week 17 gives the best results.
The triple test is not 100% reliable, there are incidences when there is a negative test, and the child is born with Down syndrome the reason for this is not always known.
Prenatal Screening Procedures
In an uncomplicated pregnancy, expect about a dozen doctor visits
First Visit Blood tests: To check the woman's blood group and sometimes, to check for presence of hepatitis B virus, which might be transmitted to the baby.
Cervical smear test: To test for an early cancer of the cervix (if a test has not been performed recently). Also called a Pap smear.
First Visit and Throughout the Pregnancy Blood tests: To check for anemia in the woman, and in women with Rh-negative blood groups, to look for the presence of Rhesus antibodies.
Urine test: To check for proteinuria, which could indicate a urinary tract infection or preeclampsia.
Blood and urine test: To check for diabetes mellitus.
Blood pressure check: To screen for hypertension, which interferes with blood supply to the placenta and is a sign of preeclampsia.
First Visit and After ANY Infection Blood tests: To screen for rubella, which can cause defects in the baby, and for syphilis and HIV (the AIDS virus) which can also be passed on.
First 12 Weeks Chorionic villus sampling: May be performed if there is a risk of certain genetic (inherited) disorders being passed on.
16 to 18 Weeks Ultrasound scanning: Is carried out to date the pregnancy accurately and to detect any abnormalities present in the fetus.
Amniocentesis: Carried out on older women and those with spina bifida or Down's syndrome to detect possible abnormalities in the fetus.
Blood test: In some cases, the amount of alpha-fetoprotein in the blood is tested to determine whether the baby has spina bifida.
Fetoscopy and fetal blood sampling: In some cases, these are carried out if there is doubt about the normality of the baby.
High-risk or overdue pregnancies Blood and urine tests: To assess placental function and fetus health.
Electronic fetal monitoring: To check on the fetal heart beat.
Ultrasound scanning: Extra scans may be recommended to assess fetal growth and development, location of placenta, amount of amniotic fluid.
SOURCE: Encyclopedia of Medicine, American Medical Association, Random House, 1989.